One has a soft structure that has the ability to replace any part that is destroyed. The first symptom is the appearance of extremely small brown or black spots on the youngest leaves. A tree that is decaying from the inside is in danger of falling. Shelf fungi root rot is one of the most serious diseases that can strike a river birch. Christmas mistletoe (Phoradendron serotinum) is a common pest in the South. Insect feeding can cause similar symptoms and if you carefully check the leaves for a sticky substance (honeydew) or cast skins, you can either confirm or eliminate insect problems. River birch can grow 50 to 90 feet tall but is often seen 40 to 50 feet. Please do not hesitate to call us at the Fayette Extension Office if you have any questions or concerns, (859) 257-5582. This will not only cause dieback, but will leave the tree susceptible to other diseases and bug infections. Leaf spot diseases should be taken seriously if they result in moderate to complete leaf loss two to four years in a row. There has been a lot of buzz around the Carpenter Costin office about Birch Leaf Blight, and although we usually see a few cases each year, this particular fungus seems to be defoliating more Birch trees than ever before in our area. Birch Leaf Blight is usually found on River Birches and can be identified by black or brown spots on the leaves, usually encircled by a yellowish halo. Once identified, immediate action should be taken to prevent further damage, and attempt to revitalize the infected Birch. River birch will produce surface roots, especially on wet or clay soils. In order to control this disease, you have to prevent overcrowding by moderate pruning of branches and leaves. Two of the most common birch tree species in the Northeast are the River Birch and White Birch. Danvers Office4 East Coast Road, Danvers, MA 01923, Birch Leaf Blight Breakout in Massachusetts. While surprising to learn, insects are the primary cause of sooty mold. A birch leaf miner infestation rarely kills birch trees on its own but it is disfiguring and can weaken a tree making it susceptible to borer attack. Fallen leaves can protect the roots, so when they are raked up, the roots lose their protection. The other has a hard structure called conks, which grow slowly. I have read into leaf blight, and to me it seemed that this wasn't the cause because, from what I've read, leaf blight doesn't cause the leaves to drop until late in the summer. Leaf blights will not cause such injury, nor will viruses or wood rots. Begin with leaf blight, a fungal disease which causes summer leaf drop. Anthracnose diseases, caused by Marssonina and Discula pathogens, form angular blotches instead of round spots. Rust is an infection that is often found in river birch and other types of birch trees as well. Chemical treatments, pruning, fertilization and watering are the keys to preventing and treating birch tree diseases. This defoliated Birch has been devastated by Birch Leaf Blight. (function(){ var hsjs = document.createElement("script"); hsjs.type = "text/javascript"; hsjs.async = true; hsjs.src = "//cta-service.cms.hubspot.com/cta-service/loader.js?placement_guid=2ab6d0cb-cd55-43e5-a2c2-f0cac1a18da8"; (document.getElementsByTagName("head")[0]||document.getElementsByTagName("body")[0]).appendChild(hsjs); setTimeout(function() {document.getElementById("hs-cta-2ab6d0cb-cd55-43e5-a2c2-f0cac1a18da8").style.visibility="hidden"}, 1); setTimeout(function() {document.getElementById("hs-cta-2ab6d0cb-cd55-43e5-a2c2-f0cac1a18da8").style.visibility="visible"}, 2000); })(); Some trees, like the river birch, cope with the hot, dry weather by shedding some of their leaves. Fungal diseases from various pathogens cause leaf spots, blotches and blisters on birch trees. Birches are considered “bleeders”, avoid pruning in late spring before leaves emerge. It causes the trees to lose up to 40% of their leaves during the summer. River birches shed some of their leaves in hot, dry weather. Anthracnose leaf blight caused by the fungus Gloeosporium betularum is the principal leaf disease. Most leaf spot diseases affect only a small percentage of the tree's overall leaf area, and are a minor stress on the health of the tree. // ]]>. Rarely is this detrimental to the tree. Leaf Blight Leaf blight is one disease that affects river birches. River birch has fewer insect and disease problems than any other birch. It is very common to find fungal leaf spots on river birch trees, especially in years with high humidity. This is too big for the average yard, especially when you consider how close to the house lots of people mistakenly plant it. Fungal diseases from various pathogens cause leaf spots, blotches and blisters on birch trees. It is also important to dispose of the fallen leaves accordingly as blight can spread easily through rain splash. Foliar diseases, dry weather, and Japanese beetle defoliation are the primary reasons for the leaf drop. Cankers are usually oval to elongate, but can vary considerably in size and shape. The principal leaf disease of river birch is anthracnose leaf blight caused by Gloeosporium betularum. Thanks for your reply! All Rights Reserved. Birch canker is a fungal disease that is becoming more and more common. The fungus will not spread to other parts of the tree either. Remove cankers in the branches by pruning. It has a narrow, oval to pyramidal crown when young, spreading wider with age as several branches become dominant. These trees simply didn't fully bud out in the spring and as it stands now, leaves don't seem to be excessively dropping. 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