River Birch - Knowledgebase Question

Mentor, Oh
Avatar for btdejhjjl
Question by btdejhjjl
May 26, 2006
Hi: I have a river birch, and I'm having some trouble. The tree has a lot of dead branches and the winter was not that bad here. It also has some leaves that have what looks like red bumps on them making them look disformed. It was on there last year also. Is it past saving, or is there something I can do to save it?

Answer from NGA
May 26, 2006
River birches are usually healthy with few pest or disease problems compared to other types of birches. Unfortunately, based on your description I am not certain what is happening to your tree. The defoliation could be related to dry weather and/or poor rooting or root damage, and the orange bumps might be signs of aphid damage or possibly a gall of some type. Very often a tree that is stressed will be attacked by a pest or disease, so I suspect there are several problems at once. I would strongly suggest you work with your local county extension to obtain a specific diagnosis of the problem(s) and based on knowing that, decide how to proceed. If a chemical control is needed, they will have the most up to date information on what to use and how/when is best to apply it. Alternatively you might consult with a skilled, professionally trained and certified arborist with experience in ornamental trees. Good luck with your river birch!

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