Silver Birch Tree Diseases: Warning Signs of a Sick Tree

A photo of a forest of silver birch trees with thick foliage in the foreground and striking white trees in the background with a low sun setting behind them

The beautiful silver birch tree is an elegant sight in any garden or landscape. Characterised by its striking white bark, it is a common tree in many public spaces, with some people lucky enough to have their very own silver birch tree in their garden. This silver birch tree has a relatively short lifespan, sometimes lasting up to 80 years but often less. Even 80 years is relatively short for a tree. You can ensure you get the most out of the life of your birch tree by looking out for any warning signs that you might have a sick tree suffering from any number of silver birch tree diseases.

There are a number of common diseases that impact the silver birch tree, along with some pests. Treesaw list some of the most common diseases; knowing how to spot any disease warning signs could help you to save your silver birch.

Birch Leafminer

First on our warning signs for your birch tree is a pest rather than a technical disease, but it can be very destructive. An infestation of the leafminer can be spotted by looking for any green spots on your birch tree’s leaves. They will appear around late spring or in the early days of summer, and then become brown. This is from the larvae burrowing into the leaves in search of nutrients. It won’t kill your birch tree, but it does significantly weaken it, which could make it more susceptible to…

Bronze Birch Borer

This is significantly damaging to a silver birch and can kill your tree within 2 – 3 years. As above, larvae attack the tree, stopping the flow of sap which is vital to a trees life. Once again, look for a thinning of the upper crown; foliage will turn brown and fall. You also may notice ‘D’ shaped holes in the trunk which is the ‘exit hole’ for the fully-grown insect. If you believe you have spotted these warning signs on your birch tree, it is imperative that you seek professional help in order to save the tree.

Silver Birch Dieback

Possibly the most common of silver birch tree diseases, dieback on a birch can be noted by the branches of the crown dying through a gradual deterioration. It is caused by different types of fungi and will be noticeable within 5 to 10 years of your tree being planted. You must prune your tree, or have a professional from Treesaw undertake the task for you, in order to stop the spread and worsening of the disease.

Treesaw Can Help

Have you spotted any of the above warning signs on your silver birch tree, and are worried it may be suffering from pests and diseases? Or does your birch seem to be dying and you can’t tell what might be wrong with it? Treesaw can help. As ARB accredited tree surgeons, our experts are here to help keep your trees healthy and living longer. Call us today on 0113 239 1271 if you’re worried about silver birch tree diseases or any other issues.