Birch Leaf Miner


Birch Leaf Miner

This pest can be responsible for the premature browning of birch trees. The larvae feed on the inner green tissues of the leaf, causing a discoloured spot. Feeding over several weeks causes the blemish to take on a blister-like appearance and can destroy much of the leaf. Heavy attacks repeated over several years will cause stress, making the tree more susceptible to other problems. Since 1990, populations of a tiny wasp which selectively attacks the most damaging birch leaf mining pest have developed and drastically reduced the problem in the Edmonton area.

The following tips will help you maintain a healthy birch tree that will be more resistant to any birch leaf miner attack.

  1. Roots of birch trees need a cool, moist, shady location. proper site selection is crucial for a long, healthy existence.
  2. Fertilizing is best done in early spring at the onset of the growing season. Lawn fertilizer applications around the tree may be sufficient.
  3. Prune (June to July) any dead wood and remove the smaller of any branches that rub one another,
  4. During the growing season, provide water during prolonged drought conditions. Thoroughly soak the area under and around the tree at least once a week if there is little rainfall.
  5. To reduce the risk of mechanical damage from lawn mowers, weed eaters etc., do not have any sod immediately surrounding the tree trunk.