Need your advice about a River Birch tree

Asked June 27, 2016, 11:13 AM EDT

Hello, I have a clump River Birch that is 12' tall and was planted here 2 years ago. It was healthy until this growing season. Currently there are areas of yellow leaves and some that appear to have a brown fungus on them. Also the limbs are droopy, especially when compared to the healthy River Birch which is right beside it. Would you have any idea what might be causing this and what can be done? Also I'm sure I should feed it and would be interested in knowing what you'd recommend using. Thanks so much. Nina. P.s. I'm sending you pictures of both the healthy and the affected trees for comparison.

Howard County Maryland river birch yellowing foliage trees

1 Response

The river birch is planted in a very difficult site and not the best location for the tree. You will always be dealing with reflected heat from the hardscape and River birch are finicky about their root system. They have a very shallow root system and require a moist soil. They will always be dropping their leaves and branches on your patio. The planting area may not be the best soil and it may be compacted as well. Make sure the area has good drainage. It would not hurt to fertilize with a garden fertilizer but this may not solve your problem. Follow label directions. All you can do is keep the tree well watered during dry periods. Make sure mulch is no thicker than several inches and keep away from the base of the trunk. See our publication on birch
http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG58_IPM_Birch.pdf mh