We recently moved into a new house, we've been informed the tree in the
front garden is a silver birch. It seems to be the only tree around
still bare, is this normal?
Please excuse my ignorance, I'm a zoologist so animals are much more my
area of expertise!
You seem to be in the UK, so not my area for a time-line either :)
The generic way to check this is to lightly scrape a few smaller
branches with a knife. You should find some greenish color and soft,
pliable, sappy wood. Try this on something you know is okay for a first
hand view of what looks good or alive.
Don't get too carried away with testing. You are damaging it some by
Trees vary quite a bit. Some of mine have been out in full leaf for nearly
a month but some, a red maple for example, are just getting started in
earnest. At the very least you should have plump leaf buds if the tree is
going to do anything this Spring. In any case you have nothing to lose or
gain by not just waiting it out. Even if it is dead and in need of removal
waiting a month won't make any difference.
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