Dark looking seed?

Asked July 20, 2018, 1:50 PM EDT

I have a two large River Birch over my driveway in Roseville. I'm seeing many of these dark brown droppings in the driveway. When wet in rain they stain a purple. Are they from the River Birch? I've experienced all of the other seed processes in spring and early summer. Just don't recall seeing these dark pellets.

Ramsey County Minnesota river birch horticulture

6 Responses

They are bit seeds from your River Birch. Birch seeds are tan and more of a star shape. Does anyone in the area have a Kentucky Coffeetree? It looks a lot like those seeds.

No Kentucky Coffee trees in my area.
Thanks for response

No Kentucky Coffee trees in my area.
Thanks for response

Those are the droppings (fecal pellets) of a moth or butterfly caterpillar. They have a very characteristic shape that is created by the digestive system of Lepidopteran caterpillars.

Thank you. This makes more sense to me. I guess the River Birch is much more attractive to this Caterpillar then other trees in my yard like autumn blazes, silver maples or cottonwoods.

Much greater amounts this year. And my river birch are very healthy looking. Even noticed much fewer Japanese Beatles this year.

Thanks for your follow-up comments.