Birch Tree Pest and Disease Control Birch Tree Pest and Disease Control

The following tips are helpful in pest control and disease management for the birch tree, commonly found in gardens.

Insect Pests

Insect pests that typically attack the silver birch or white birch tree are spittle bugs, aphids and birch leaf miner. Spittle bugs and aphids feed on the sap and cause leaf loss. Spittle bugs usually hide in frothy spittle while aphids occur in large numbers under the leaves. When the leaf centers show a lighter green than the edges, this usually reflects infestation by the birch leaf miner. The leaf miner makes tiny pin-sized drops on the leaves which then develop into blotches across the leaf surface. You can best control the leaf miner by applying a soil drench once a year when the tree is leafing out. Contact insecticides are generally useful in controlling the insects. 


Fungal diseases can result in leaf spot, leaf blisters and leaf rust and tend to leave spots on the leaves. Dieback and canker are other common fungal diseases. Canker appears as a swelling where branches have been broken off. The swelling expands, cutting off supply of water to the branch or trunk and eventually death. Proper pruning can get rid of branches with canker.


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