The Q&A Archives: Identifying

Question: Every springtime, I have to spray my white birch tree with some insecticide or else the leaves seem to shrivel up and die. What is it and what should I spray on the leaves ? Peter P.Greeley Westwood, MA

Answer: Before spraying any pest control you need to identify the pest. The symptom you mention is a general one that could be due to any number of factors. I suggest you monitor the leaves every couple of days for insect or disease symptoms, and take samples of what you find (leaves with insect eggs, larvae, or spots that may indicate diease). You can call your extension service for an I.D. of the problem, or take it to a garden center that has a knowledgeable staff. Your extension service can be reached at 413-545-4800. There are a lot of environmentally friendly (and truly effective) controls for pest and disease control - be sure to ask the professionals who I.D. the problem, or e-mail us when the problem is identified, and we can direct you to a source.

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