The Q&A Archives: Browning Birch Leaves

Question: My Japanese white birch tree suffers after leaves appear. Around late May, when the leaves on my Japanese white birch appear, the leaves becomes sickly looking with brown edges. Last year I sprayed the tree with a bug spray as soon as leaves appeared as recommended by our local nursery. This didn't help. Any suggestions?<br><br><br>THANKYOU !<br><br>TIM F.

Answer: Try to identify if there is actually an insect present by pulling off some of the affected leaves. Are there tiny worms burrowing inside the leaves (birch leaf miner)? Or are there some sucking juice from the leaves from the underside (aphids)? The symptoms may also be caused by a fungal disease called birch rust, which forms orange/brown growths on leaves that cause a spotted, rusty appearance. Once you have pinpointed the cause, we can help you with a solution. If you're not comfortable diagnosing this yourself, have your extension agent (ph# 815/987-7379) help you out (it's a free service!). Good luck - we hope to hear from you soon!

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