The other 2 trees in the clump are fine. On April 22nd 2018, the River Birch was looking very poorly again - almost no leaves on the upper branches and the few tiny leaves that had appeared on the lower branches had brown edges and were curling. The buds have since opened, the tree did its dangly birch flower thing, and the tree filled in with leaves. It looks like a fungal infection, probably from the humid weather (and made worse when I water the lawn in the evening after work). Here on the west coast it grows to a mature height and width of 40’ to 70’, developing a spreading, rounded shape. I cut a few of the bottom branches off anyway to promote vertical growth, so that should get rid of a lot of the infected leaves. Without treatment, the leaves will yellow and eventually drop. Facts. Trees grown near driveways or patios with a limestone base that is alkaline can be affected as the roots grow into the base. Birch Leafminer. River birch tolerates low soil oxygen, flooding, and clay soil, but needs moist conditions. This early defoliation can kill young trees, but most mature river birches can survive leaf spot disease. I do not see any webbing or holes in the trunk, leaves or branches. While mowing the grass today I noticed that a lot of the leaves were turning brown. Some trees may have naturalized in the wild from yards and gardens, but several populations in New England are native, and the species is listed as rare in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. When the trees went into the ground they all had buds. Situate the tree so it receives adequate water. Leafminers are a common insect pest of birch trees. You may also find D shaped holes and ridges on the tree truck and the branches. The foliage is variegated and has cream or ivory edges. The affected leaves can be stunted and have browning along the edges. My young river birch have brown rusty edges on some of the lower leaves. Shiloh Splash river birch (Betula nigra 'Shiloh Splash'): A compact form growing 10 feet high and 8 feet wide. It bears leaves 1.5”–3” long leaves which are simple, ovate, and arranged alternately on the stems. Q: I have a river birch that has 3 trees (clumps) together. River birch is hardy, grows rapidly, but tends to be short-lived (30 to 40 years) in many urban settings, possibly due to inadequate water supply. River birch is native to the eastern United States growing from the northeast states, south to Florida and west to Minnesota. River birch is widely planted for its appealing, peeling bark and shiny, diamond-shaped leaves. The largest tree has its leaves curling up and turning brown. The tree requires an acid soil, otherwise it becomes chlorotic. Although leafminers do not kill birches, they affect the tree's aesthetics, turning the leaves brown, and weaken the tree's ability to withstand an attack by bronze birch borers or survive extreme environmental conditions. 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