Birch Trees
Q.

Why is River Birch not growing leaves on top half of tree?

Zone Florida panhandle | whitestsand added on April 1, 2015 | Answered

Why is my river birch not growing leaves on the top half of tree? The tree is about 2 1/2 years old. I live in north western Florida and it only got to freezing a few times last winter. It seems that half of my river birch tree has died. It has started to grow leaves from an offshoot and somewhat on the lower half of the tree. The top branches are brown when I scrape them. The trunk itself is green all the way up. I'm not sure what we can do but could you give us advice on how to save the tree? We really want to try.

A.
A.Answers to this queston: Add Answer
shelley
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on April 1, 2015

This very well could be due to winter injury but let's explore some other possibilities.

Do you see any signs of insect damage? Dieback that begins in the upper portion of the tree can be a sign of the bronze birch borer. Please review the following link and see if you find any sign of this pest:

http://www.ipm.msu.edu/uploads/files/woodylandscape_pdfs/insectsandmites_bronzebirchborer.pdf

Did you see any cankers (sunken rings that grow in the bark) on the tree?

Did the tree experience a drought?

Are there other birch trees in your area? If so, how are they faring?

Let's start with that and see if we can get to the bottom of this!

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whitestsand
Answered on June 15, 2015

Not sure how to put up another picture

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whitestsand
Answered on June 15, 2015

I'm sorry it took so long to get back to this but I did find no insects. Nor did we have a drought. this is a picture of what it looks like now. And I'm more or less wondering what I should do with the dead branches on the top of the tree. I don't want to top it because it would stop the growth so I'm not sure what to do.

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