We have a 44 year old birch 3-trunk clump in our front yard that is
showing its age. Two of the 3 main trunks have vertical splits in
them that run from close to ground level up to 8 - 10 feet. The
leaves this year were full, but the splits in the trunks were deeper
than they were last year, and I fear that next year we may not see as
vigorous growth. We have been lucky and not had problems with birch
borers like many folks in the Chicago suburbs, at least as far as I
can tell. We spray annually for the borers as a precaution. I don't
know what caused the splits.
My wife is set on having birches or something that looks similar if we
have to replace the birch clump
If we have to replace the clump, I would like to plant something that
does not need annual spraying as we try to be as "green" as possible.
I don't think Aspens will grow well in the Chicago suburbs as I have
not seen any in any of the places we have looked at for replacement
trees. The big box stores treat their trees so poorly that I would
never buy from them unless I could buy the tree the same day it arived
at the store. We don;t have any nurseries close buiy to just go and
browse so I am hoping some folks here have some suggestions for
similarly looking trees..