Black Birch ailing

I have a black birch tree that is the centrepiece of my back yard. Last year I noticed it did not leaf out near the top and this year it is still only 4/5ths foliage. A few days ago I found a part of the branch that had some buds on it lying on the lawn. Where it was cut from the tree it was almost saw-like straight. The wood was brown and dark at the cut, but green and live further up. I do have a free arborist call-in service that I was going to use, but thought I would also post here, to see if anyone could help with what might be wrong.
Thanks in advance.
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Without an examination its hard to diagnose.
It sounds like your tree is maturing and declining, i.e., the symplast. "PROPER pruning, mulching and care is always a good idea.
Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr. Beware of so-called TREE EXPERTS who do not understand TREE BIOLOGY! www.treedictionary.com
http://mercury.ccil.org/~treeman / Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us that we are not the boss. Some people will buy products they do not understand and not buy books that will give them understanding.

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BTW
Two good books on tree care are as follows. Your library might have them or they can surely buy them if you request. If you do request them to purchase them I would suggest to them to order the library they may have available. http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/MARBOR.html
and
http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/TPRUNING.html
Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr. Beware of so-called TREE EXPERTS who do not understand TREE BIOLOGY! www.treedictionary.com http://mercury.ccil.org/~treeman / Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us that we are not the boss. Some people will buy products they do not understand and not buy books that will give them understanding.

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