Is my newly planted tree dying? River birch – Dropping Leaves Q: We have a birch tree in the front yard which I think has exceeded its water resources. As a landscape plant, it is grown as a single-stem tree or in a clump as a multi-stemmed tree with three or more trunks. I have to rake every other week to prevent the brown dry leaves that fall in that period from blowing into the neighbor’s yard. Caring for Your Birch Tree. Discoloration may also be seen in the wood of your river birch tree. Q: I have a river birch that has 3 trees (clumps) together. Birch anthracnose or leaf spot Cryptocline betularum, Discula betulina and others. If you scrape away a layer of bark on the trunk or branches, you may notice white fungal growth, as well. If you are truly concerned about this tree, please contact a local certified arborist for an on-site assessment. The River Birch appears very similar to the White Birch varieties, with the main distinction being the color of the bark. 3) If your birch tree exhibits yellowing leaves with sparse foliage at the top of the tree, branch or twig die-back and increased side growth on lower branches; you may have a Bronze Birch Borer which is the larvae of an iridescent olive brown beetle. I do not see any webbing or holes in the trunk, leaves or branches. The other 2 trees in the clump are fine. River birch (Betula nigra) is a fast-growing, shade tree native to the Mississippi River flood plain in southeastern Minnesota.It is popular for its ornamental peeling bark. This material will be taken up as the tree takes up water for its leaves. The largest tree has its leaves curling up and turning brown. If birch leaf blight is found to be the cause, a simple solution is making sure the tree is receiving proper air circulation and promptly rake and remove all fallen leaves from the site in order to help eliminate the fungal spores. You may also find D shaped holes and ridges on the tree truck and the branches. Two of the most common birch tree species in the Northeast are the River Birch and White Birch. That’s why you see those wilted, yellow or brown leaves. River Birch have a tan bark with subtle orange highlights versus the white and grays of the White Birch. Leafminers are a common insect pest of birch trees. During the past few years it has been dropping a lot of branches, and some sections have died back. Generally, the leaves aren't as nicely formed or as dark green as they used to be. My river birch leaves are turning brown. You can often revive a shocked tree, but you’ll first need to make sure it’s alive and well. Live tree twigs are nimble, so they’re flexible, bendable and much harder to break. The birch tree is popular among homeowners due to its beautiful bark, modest size and graceful branches. This year I notice that it's dropping leaves that are dry and brown with many holes -- they look like brown … The lower part of the tree trunk may also appear a dark, reddish brown color. Infected leaves fall from tree even if still partly green ; Leaves on lower branches most affected; Leaf spots may be 1/8th to 3/8th inch brown spots to large brown blotches surrounded by yellow tissue (C. betularum) I planted it about 6 weeks ago. Although leafminers do not kill birches, they affect the tree's aesthetics, turning the leaves brown, and weaken the tree's ability to withstand an attack by bronze birch borers or survive extreme environmental conditions. I have a 15 year old large river birch. If the tree’s dead, it will easily snap. Hardiness Zone: 6a By b from Berrien Springs, MI Heritage® river birch. Branches and limbs may turn to a dark brown color. Try bending a tree branch. Birch Leafminer.