The yellow birch is a large, rounded, hardwood tree with thin yellow-brown bark and serrated leaves that are glossy green in summer and turn a bold gold in the fall. If you have a large property and are looking for a beautiful bit of autumnal color, then a yellow birch might be the perfect addition to your yard.
Tree ownership involves understanding the upkeep involved with a certain type of tree, which includes understanding what diseases and insects pose threats. Here are a few of the diseases and insects that threaten the yellow birch – and how a tree service can help prevent damage once the problem is identified.
Birch Leaf Blight
Leaf blight is a mostly cosmetic fungal disease that causes spring leaves to grow with browned spots. The browning will worsen as the growth cycle progresses and affected leaves will then drop off the tree prematurely. The yellow birch is more resistant than some other types of birches and leaf blight tends not to be a severe issue in the worst cases.
If birch leaf blight symptoms do present, ask a tree trimming service to come and clip off the affected leaves and collect any shed leaves from the ground. Worried that the blight will return next year? Ask the tree service to take a soil sample to diagnose the fungus and determine a fungicide and fertilization treatment that can prevent recurrences of leaf blight.
Bark canker is another fungal disease that strikes the yellow birch. The fungus enters the tree through cuts or breaks caused by wind damage or pruning accidents. Bark canker has one of the most easily identifiable symptoms of all tree diseases. Sores will open up in the bark near the site of damage; the sores will have reddened rims and darker interiors, much like human sores.
Ask a tree trimming service to cut away any damaged branches whether or not the particular branch has cankers. Leaving currently unaffected but damaged branches on the tree risks spreading the disease further through the tree.
Bark canker is really only a threat to the life of the tree if the trunk already sustained substantial damage, which would have risked the tree's life on its own. If the trunk has died, ask a tree removal service to completely remove the tree and its stump.
Bronze Birch Borer
The bronze birch borer is one of the biggest threats to the life of a yellow birch tree. The adult borers are bronze-colored beetles that can feed on the leaves of trees that have already suffered poor health or prior damage. But it's the groupings of larvae inside the bark that creates the biggest risk to the tree as those larvae can intercept the nutrients meant for the tree's thriving.
Symptoms of a bronze birch borer start with leaves and branches withering at the top of the tree, which is the first section cut off from nutrients. If the infestation is caught at this stage, your tree service can apply an insecticide and perhaps eliminate the threat.
If the disease is allowed to progress so that the dieback moves further down the tree, it might become necessary to remove the tree to prevent the borers from moving on to other trees in the area.
For a tree service in your area, contact a company such as Todd's Tree Service Inc.