A Guide to Birch Tree Pests and Diseases Birch trees display colorful and textural bark qualities that are unusual among tree species. The standard, European White Birch that was commonly used decades ago, is now difficult to find. Branch on river birch beginning to show witches-broom symptom. Landscapers have moved to using River Birches because of better resistance to certain insect problems. Birch Insects And Diseases. In many cases the birch tree diseases make the birch … The branches are no longer pliable and break off easily. Like the lethal bronze birch borer, it is the larvae of the birch leaf miner which causes damage by burrowing into birch leaves in search of nutrients. Two of the most common birch tree species in the Northeast are the River Birch and White Birch. Figure 1. The river birch is one tree that can add a great deal of appeal, value, and shade to your home because it grows fast and grows tall. Birch trees bring to mind river banks and northern forests but when planted in suburban lawns, they need extra care. Two stems on left have a witches-broom appearance and the stem on the right is normal in appearance. Birch leafminer A troublesome pest for a birch tree is the Birch Leaf Miner (Fenusa pusilla) . Our river birch has developed brown spots (some have the yellow "halo") on the leaves of one of the three trunks. Branch from afflicted stems in Figure 1 showing symptoms. Pest resistance: resistant to pests/diseases. Keep reading to learn more river birch tree facts, such as river birch tree care and effectively using river birch … Figure 4. The birch tree is popular among homeowners due to its beautiful bark, modest size and graceful branches. Iron chlorosis (leaves are chartreuse with darker veins) may be a problem on alkaline soils. It is very well suited for planting along steam banks where it is native and in other areas that are inundated for weeks. The River Birch appears very similar to the White Birch varieties, with the main distinction being the color of the bark. Figure 2. The river birch is a popular tree for river banks and wet parts of the garden. Bronze birch borer (Agrilus anxius) is a significant pest of most birches but this species is the most resistant of the commonly grown birches. Of course, as with any tree, certain diseases and infections can take control that requiring efficient and effective treatment. River birch afflicted with new problem. Asked October 7, 2017, 1:55 PM EDT. Figure 3. Several diseases of betula species and two insects that capitalize on them make many birch species high-maintenance choices for residential lots. River birch tolerates low soil oxygen, flooding, and clay soil, but needs moist conditions. Some varieties have reddish and yellowish bark, but even more highly valued are the white-barked types. Most of the leaves have turned brown and have fallen off. You can expect the tree to grow up to 90 feet tall. The tree requires an acid soil, otherwise it becomes chlorotic. Since the birch trees are domesticated, its infection by the birch tree disease gives the owners an headache. River birch is has few insect or disease problems. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service notes the two most pervasive insect pests of birch trees are Use and Management. Its attractive bark is especially striking in the winter when the rest of the tree is bare. Leaf disease on Riverbirch tree. Caring for Your Birch Tree. Birch tree diseases are diseases which affect the barks, leaves roots and the flowers of the birch trees.