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Is my birch ok?

We planted a large River Birch tree (3" trunk and approx. 20ft. high) last fall and it is not looking too good this year. Some of the larger lower branches look dead and the branches that are alive are sparse with even some yellow leaves on them. It is at the back of our sloped yard so we are pretty sure is it getting enough water. Any thoughts? Should we expect it to be in "shock" for now?
Submitted by meaniemom (zone 5)

Hi, It's hard to say what's going on, but I would not say it was shock. It could be that it was planted so late in the year that it didn't get established before winter. Or, it could be because your soil pH isn't correct for this species. I can't really guess here since I don't know the planting details from last fall.

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