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Our tree is about 4 years old and about 15ft in a sunny position in clay soil. We wish to raise the soil level 6 - 9 inches around it as part of general revitalisation of a 100 year old neglected border. Is this likely to cause problems for the tree? I'd be grateful for advice and comment.
No tree likes its soil level increased by large amounts, and birches do have very shallow roots. However, the soil level does rise gradually around trees in nature, so they can manage some increase. I'd suggest doing the minimum rise possible, perhaps in two stages. Also, it is probably important that the soil added remains as dry as possible, so the roots don't drown.
Thank you very much. I will go ahead bearing in mind what you say.
So far, so good. Tree flourishing!
You can of course put bricks or a split pipe of large diameter around the trunk and build the soil up that way.