Answer: Birch trees prefer moist conditions and regular water, and the silver leaf birch is especially sensitive to aridity. Are your trees receiving enough water through the entire root zone, which means about 3 feet deep and out to the edge of the canopy? If stressed for water, the trees become susceptible to attack by pests or disease. In the west, the bronze birch borer is a common pest. You might want to check with your County Cooperative Extension office to see if they are aware of a particular problem in your area. In some parts of the country, birch are dying at a rapid rate with no known control. I'd try to save it by watering diligently all summer long to see if that makes a difference in its growth.
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