Monday, May 11, 2009

River Birch Pests No Big Problem

River birch is a medium sized native tree commonly grown in landscapes for its attractive bark and fast growth. In the wild, river birch almost always occurs along river banks, while in the landscape these tough trees will tolerate both drought and flooding. Each spring river birch trees are visited by two common pests, aphids and a caterpillar look-alike known as the sawfly larva (image left). While both of these pests cause river birch trees to loose some leaves, they do not pose any serious threat to the trees’ long term health and will not spread to other plants in the landscape. Both of these pests only feed on river birch leaves in the spring and trees quickly recover once the insects have moved on. There is rarely any need to treat for either of these pests since the damage they cause is mostly cosmetic.

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