River Birch Tree

Asked September 4, 2017, 3:46 PM EDT

Hi, we're seeing the leaves being stripped from our river birch trees but can't seem to see the cause. We're not noticing anything on the underside of the leaves or the bark of the trees. my husband has tried to look with a flashlight at night to see if he can see anything but he doesn't. Do you have an idea of what it might be? Thanks so much.

Anne Arundel County Maryland insect issues river birch tree river birch leaves being stripped insect on river birch

1 Response

In late summer-early fall it is very common for a number of caterpillars species to strip leaves from a branch here or there and then leave. The caterpillars are big by this time of year and they can strip a branch quickly, but once they leave it's impossible to do anything about it. The good news is that by late summer mature trees have had plenty of time to carry on photosynthesis and build up their carbohydrate reserves for next year. Losing a few leaves don't hurt them. Trees actually grow extra leaves to be a buffer anyway. No treatment is recommended. You do not need to prune off the branch.