Birch Tree Dropping Leaves??


I have an unusual species of birch in my front yard, a Red River Heritage Birch. The bark is sort of a light orange, and looks like it's always peeling.
Anyway, I notice that I seem to have a lot of yellow leaves falling of for this time of year. The tree is by no means going bare, but there are always leaves dropping.
I recently sprayed as much of it as I could with Isotox, thinking I may have Birch Tree Miners, but could only reach the bottom two- thirds, (the tree is forty feet high).
I've noticed lots of other birch trees, mostly regular white clump birches, also with lots of yellow leaves on the ground, so I'm not too panicked.
I was just wondering if anyone has any insight into this. Is this a common thing with birches?? I've had this tree since it was a sapling, but this "leave thing" seems to have started over the past few summers. Any helpful input is appreciated.
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Lots of trees in my area (metro Washington DC) had been dropping some leaves over the last month. I was told that trees normally do this when stressed from not enough water. We had a terribly dry spring, and seemed to jump right into August type weather. Many plants were suffering. Hopefully last weeks drenching rains will turn things around.
My very old Black Walnut trees were already dropping their nuts in the third week of June. The nuts were only up to about 1" diameter, far from mature. Normally they drop when about 2" to 2 1/2" diameter, in August, IIRC.
If you have also been having excessively dry weather, I'd say what you are seeing is normal. Just the tree's way of protecting itself.
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Birch trees need a LOT of water. In this area (western Canada) the residential birch trees are dead or dying, as homeowners failed to water them during the recent years of drought.
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FLHTPI wrote:

Where do you live and water is your rainfall situation like this year?
As another poster mentioned, birches prefer things a bit on the damp side. I bought my house last year and when it was put up 11 years ago the idiot builder (my neighbor has a weeping willow <10 ft from his house, lol) put a river birch next to the driveway in a nice hot, dry location. At the end of last summer it was looking pretty sparse. It came back fine this spring, but is already dropping leaves (and so many stupid twigs) again .
Maybe the past few summers have been a little drier than the past and that is why you are seeing the problem now. Or it could be that as the tree has grown it has a harder time keeping up with its growing water needs.
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FLHTPI wrote:

As others have said, it needs water. Water it!! I lost two just like that last summer because I found out too later.
Dean
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On Wed, 12 Jul 2006 17:30:57 -0400, "Dean A. Markley"

Actually, here in Greater Boston, we've had a WET Summer. Way above average rain fall.
The only I'm sure is NOT causing this is lack of water.
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FLSTCI said:

With a birch, that (hot weather and water stress) has to be the first thought, as to the reason. That being ruled out, my next guess would be Iron Chlorosis, which could be caused by your soil being too alkaline. But, don't guess. Be sure. Take a leafy branch to a good local nursery and have it checked out. If you rule out Chlorosis, then my only other guess would be fungal leaf blight, which is also treatable (but can be a pain). Your co-op should be able to diagnose this from a soil sample.
HTH
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