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Strange Leaves on River Birch

Posted by sallyreams seven (My Page) on
Sun, May 6, 12 at 10:45

What is wrong with the leaves on my River Birch? 2 photos below. 1) top of leaf is malformed with ridges all over and 2)under the leaf is white powder and black dots. These leaves are on almost every limb of my young tree, only about 15 feet tall. How do i get rid of this? Will it spread to other plants nearby?

1)Top of leave:
top of leaf

2) bottom of leaf:
back of leaf


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Strange Leaves on River Birch

polluted with aphids........help is on way.......I see ladybug eggs


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RE: Strange Leaves on River Birch

yes, there are lady bugs on the tree too! I didn't know aphids attacked trees.


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RE: Strange Leaves on River Birch

Oh my yes, and they especially like birch. I hope I'm not steering you wrong, they look like aphids from the way it presents on my monitor. You sound like you are an experienced gardener............knock one off and look.


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RE: Strange Leaves on River Birch

Had the same problem last year. Called an arborist who recommended 2 types of treatments - One was a simple spray applied twice in the year - early spring and mid summer, and the other was some treatment directly injected into the root zone of the birch.

I opted for the second option. It seemed to work BUT I have just noticed a few leaves turn yellow and crinkled again this week ( very very few). However, there are no aphids / black soot like covering underneath them. Guess the treatment is working .. he recommends treatment every year as river birches are susceptible.


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RE: Strange Leaves on River Birch

Odds are that eventually the lady bugs (and others) will eliminate the aphids. A severe outbreak of aphids is almost always followed by a severe munching by preditors. It may be ugly now, but birches are resilient. I have several river birches and have "seen it all." Chemicals aren't always the answer - nature has its own controls. It levels off. Visit "my page."
hortster


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RE: Strange Leaves on River Birch

Aphids are very temperature sensitive and usually do their worst damage in spring before it gets very hot (and in spring the leaves are more tender). If the infestation is localized, which it often is, try strong blasts of water from the hose to knock them off. I have never sprayed anything else for aphids - I let the beneficial insects do most of the work as hortster notes.


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RE: Strange Leaves on River Birch

  • Posted by beng z6b western MD (My Page) on
    Thu, May 10, 12 at 11:22

Yes, I've had the same issue w/river birch. I thought it was a waxy scale insect -- no matter, it's some kind of sucking insect. Ladybugs do eventually control them, but sometimes not after considerable damage. Years later, there's still a few of them -- I just pinch off the affected leaves I can reach -- affected leaves won't recover.


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RE: Strange Leaves on River Birch

  • Posted by jqpublic 7b/8a Wake County NC (My Page) on
    Fri, May 11, 12 at 0:07

I've never been sickened by the sight of a plant, but those pics make me throw-up a little in my mouth.


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