Paper birch disease

I planted a paper birch about 15 years ago, I noticed last year that caterpillars got in it later in the summer. Before fall arrived part of the tree started dying(leaves stayed on the tree but turned brown) Some of the limbs are pliable but it has not put out any leaves. The tree has been beautiful for all these years and I would love to save it.
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

My first thought was gypsy moths, which favor birch trees, but they would have eaten the leaves, not turned them brown. Sounds more like leaf scorch, which is caused by a lack of water in the leaves. This can happen in drought, or in extreme heat and wind, or if roots are damaged. Birch like moist soil, so drought is your most likely cause. Mulch the trees and keep them watered. If you have water restrictions, please think about getting a rain barrel and collecting your own irrigation water.

Luke Miller, editor
Garden Ideas & Outdoor Living magazine


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