My river birch is not producing leaves

Asked April 3, 2019, 4:09 PM EDT

I love my tree and the first 3 year it was full of big and fluffy looking and the last 2 years it has not been producing any leaves st all and if it does they are miniature little leaves with little red lines on the outside of them.
The only thing we can think of is it has root rot?
The soil is always wet back there in that area of the yard
We moved the irrigation system 4 feet passed the tree just for that reason..
Maybe you could help.
Here are some pictures and this is the size of the leaves now. They do not get any bigger like they use to. Any advice because I do not nit want to lose her!!!

Okaloosa County Florida

1 Response

Good morning,

The water issue is probably not the major issue for this river birch tree. River birch is a tree species that can deal with wet conditions. Based on what I can tell from the photos, the main issue looks more like a planting depth problem. It looks like the tree was planted too deep. There are two main ways deep planting causes the decline or death of trees. It suffocates roots and rots the base of the trunk. Planting a tree too deeply will either result in slow stunted growth or slow tree decline and eventual death. It is probably too late to save this tree by correcting the planting depth issue – the damage has been done. The other issue is that lawn grass is growing right up to the tree’s trunk. It is best to have a mulched area around any tree, which benefits the tree’s root system and helps prevent mowing equipment (mowers & string trimmers) from accidentally hitting the trunk. Injuries to the trunk caused by mowing equipment can significantly shorten a tree’s life. This kind of damage to the trunk is prevented, not cured.

Below is a link to a UF/IFAS Extension publication that includes information on how to correctly plant, mulch and establish trees.

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/ep/ep31400.pdf - Planting and Establishing Trees

If you have further questions, please contact me at Larry Williams lwilliams@myokaloosa.com

Thanks, Larry