The Q&A Archives: River Birch Tree

Question: We have a river birch tree planted about 9 years ago, its facing the afternoon sun and in the drought last summer it looked like it was dying. Barely has any leaves and it is not coming back too well this spring. What can we do to save it? We live North of Cincinnati, OH.

Answer: Extended drought conditions can really stress a tree, but one that has been in the ground for 9 years should be able to overcome the problem. About the only thing you can do is to water your tree once a week. Start by building a water well or basin beneath the tree, by mounding up a few inches of soil in a circle - about 2' from the trunk. Fill this basin with water, allow to drain, then fill it a second time. Watering in this way will concentrate the moisture directly over the root mass and allow it to trickle down and wet the entire root mass. Once a week is all it needs and you should see an improvement in your tree later in the season.

Best wishes with your river birch!

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