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GTIMatador 07-27-2010 07:38 AM

What is wrong with this tree?
I have this tree in my front lawn. Last year it stopped growing much leaves and this year I discovered that the sprinkling system was leaking and it wasn't getting water. I fixed the leak and it now gets plenty water but still no leaves, I snap the twigs and they seem dry but some branches do have leaves. I don't notice any bugs or parasites crawling out of it. Any ideas?

Scuba_Dave 07-27-2010 08:59 AM

Where are you located ?
I have over a dozen birch trees growing
I don't water any of them & they do fine

With constant water roots may not go as deep
Then the water stops....roots can't get enough water...tree starts to die

47_47 07-27-2010 09:30 AM

Don't know whats wrong, but personally, I'd cut it down. It is too big for the area and already up against your house. BTW you should fix your disconnected downspout.

GTIMatador 07-27-2010 12:01 PM

I live in Long Island, NY. I have lived in the house for over 4 years now and the tree never had any issues up until last year when it just stopped growing leaves. I came across the leak in the sprinkler system this year while I turned the system back on. Due to the leak in the line the tree had not been getting any water and attributed the lack of leaves to that. So after fixing the leak in the early spring this year I thought the tree would return to its normal cycle but the only leaves it has produced all season are the ones you see. Everything else is dried out.

Aside from cutting it back from the home (and also fixing the gutter) is there anything else I should do? Should I cut off all the dried branches? Is there some treatment it needs?

Scuba_Dave 07-27-2010 12:36 PM

My experience is once they die off like that those branches will not come back
I transplanted (3) birches & they died off - almost to the ground
6 years later the old dead branches are gone - actually within 1st year
They are all now 15'+ tall

I have been told that there is a "bug" that gets into these & kills them
Not sure of the specifics...but cold winters kills the bug off

GTIMatador 07-27-2010 02:38 PM

So what would be the best plan of attack to help this tree recover at this point? Should I cut off all the dried branches and let it work itself out or is there some treatment I can apply to it to help it along?

bob22 07-31-2010 07:22 AM

I agree with the post to cut it down. Too close to the house and personally I don't think it adds anything to beautify the property.
Birchs can get a borer that kills them. Years ago a lindane-based product was available that you painted on and it became systemic in the tree killing the borers. You can check base of trunk for little holes.
I think the tree is a goner from the looks of it.

GardenConcepts 07-31-2010 02:25 PM

Yup, it's a goner. Cut it down.

racebum 08-02-2010 12:21 AM

at a bare minimum cut off the dead part.

i agree with the others though, fix the downspout and get rid of the tree

chrisn 08-02-2010 02:18 AM

The tree is all but dead, probably from the bronze birch borer. Cut it down and use the logs in the fireplace for drcorative look all year long.

GTIMatador 08-02-2010 02:02 PM

Thank you all for your help. I'm going to look into taking it down in the coming days. Next question, what is an inexpensive alternative that I can plant in its place?

chrisn 08-03-2010 05:04 AM

inexpensive? hemlock

GTIMatador 08-03-2010 08:29 AM

Well I took half of it down last night and the rest will come down later this week. It was incredibly dry on the top half with the bark's exterior peeled back and a fuzz of dried wood dusting all over the exposed bark. did not look good at all. The branches just snapped off like icicles.

On the other side of the house i have a small japanese maple and long slender tree that was bent in a bonsai fashion by the previous owner. So I would like to keep within the asian landscaping theme and put something new up along those lines, any suggestions?

loneframer 08-03-2010 04:25 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar, not inexpensive, but very attractive.:thumbsup:

GTIMatador 08-04-2010 03:11 PM

that's the same exact tree I have on the other side of the house and the one I was thinking about putting, thanks for the name :thumbsup:

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