Birch bark

Asked March 23, 2017, 10:48 PM EDT

We have a weeping birch that has suffered ice damage, losing its top a few years ago and then a big main branch this winter. The bark has developed a dark red "growth" that it has not had prior to now. Some preliminary web searching says it might be a serious problem with no solution. Should we be concerned? The tree is next to the city sidewalk and street parking and about 35' tall.

Linn County Oregon

1 Response

Difficult to tell a lot from the images but will give you some direction. The yellowish redish growth may simply be an lichen of some sort. Would need a very closer look to be sure. Here is more info on that aspect:
https://pnwhandbooks.org/plantdisease/pathogen-articles/nonpathogenic-phenomena/algae-lichens-mosses...
The first image does some a little sapsucker damage but it does not seem to be a major problem:
https://pnwhandbooks.org/plantdisease/pathogen-articles/nonpathogenic-phenomena/recognizing-sapsucke...
I mention that because you may have an insect problem called bronze birch borer which could result in the symptoms you have described.
https://pnwhandbooks.org/insect/hort/landscape/hosts-pests-landscape-plants/birch-betula-bronze-birc...
You may also have wood decay in the center of the trunk that came in after the ice injury. There is not much you can do for that.