Birch trees dying around town.

Asked June 23, 2016, 1:23 PM EDT

I've noticed river birch trees dying across town and was wondering if you had an idea as to why. They all of course have the yellow leaves and veins showing so I know they are low on iron but is there more? This tree is by 90th and Louise St. and has no damage or evidence or insect or disease. Thanks.

Lincoln County South Dakota horticulture

1 Response

The best I can tell you from your information and my research, is that River Birch can tolerate our SD alkaline soils which retards needed iron for the tree to a certain extent but the trees become chlorotic (yellow leaves, green veins). A continued chlorotic condition is detrimental to the trees due to a reduced ability to photosynthesize their food. They will eventually die. There may be other issues, pests such as the bronze birch borer or other pests may attack a weak tree.