Arborcare-Arborscape, Inc. 2015
Bronze Birch Borers
The adult borers are an olive green to black beetle with metallic reflections. These feed on the leaves of birch trees. The larvae, however, is the stage of the bronze birch borer that really causes the damage. They overwinter inside the tree, feeding on an inner layer for sustenance.
Since the larvae feed on an inner layer of the tree they cause girdling of the trunks and limbs. This causes dying of the branches above the feeding site. The bronze birch borer usually begins near the top of the tree, feeding on smaller branches, causing leaves to yellow or brown and eventually the death of the branch. As they continue to feed they work their way lower down the tree into the main trunk which can kill the entire stem or tree.
Other signs your birch tree is infested are the ‘D’ shaped holes left when the borers exit the tree and ridges along the trunk and branches caused by the larvae boring into the tree and tunneling under the bark.
The most important thing for your birch tree is to keep it as healthy as possible. Bronze birch borers tend to attack older stressed trees. Many birch trees, unless located in an ideal spot, do not do well with the hot, dry climate in Utah. When this is the case the trees need to be taken care of and watered regularly. If choosing to plant a birch tree, they do better in cool, partly shaded, moist, well-drained areas. Also, spreading mulch around the root zone will help keep the soil moist and cool, giving better growing conditions.
Chemical treatments for bronze birch borers are available. Systemic treatments work best as both a control and preventative. Sprays can also be performed in the spring as a preventative only when systemics cannot be performed. We also suggest a spring or fall fertilization to help keep the tree healthy and stress free.
If you have any questions or would like to speak with an ArborCare representative regarding your tree care needs, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (801) 972-8733.
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