Birch tree problems -Suggestions?

Asked July 23, 2019, 8:24 AM EDT

I have 3 birch trees (12-15yrs old) that I really love and enjoy. Last year noticed some smaller dead branches on 2:3. Then the oldest suddenly dropped 3 bigger branches, with live leaves. I’m concerned about the bronze birch borer. Questions include: 1-can someone evaluate the trees.... 2-what can be done?... 3-Is it possible to save any.....4-if it must be taken down, what steps to prevent further spread. 5-if I were to replant trees, how long do I have to wait, prep work needed? 6- suggestions for replacement? Thankyou for any helping, assistance.

Marion County Oregon trees and shrubs

1 Response

Bronze birch borer is certainly a threat to birches in our area and it would not be surprising if you have them. You should be able to determine whether or not your trees have birch borers by looking for the signs and symptoms. The first symptom is often dying tops and branches along with declining health of the foliage. And if you look closely at the trunk and large branches you might see exit holes or evidence of boring under the bark. For more on birch borers and your options for treatment, see the website and publications at

While you may have birch borers, breakage of live branches that are fully leafed out is not likely the result of birch borers. I would suspect weather events such as the sudden wind bursts or heavy rain we experienced during thunderstorms last month.Or perhaps the tree is compromised by wood decay fungi from previous injuries?

For professional assessment of your tree health and treatment options, consider hiring a certified arborist.