Services > Parks > Bronze Birch Borer
Information You Need To Know!!
The City of Weyburn has been experiencing an outbreak of Bronze Birch Borer which has resulted in the death of many mature birch trees throughout the City. Trees under stress from lack of water, poor pruning practices and other insect pests are most susceptible.
One of the main indicators of Bronze Birch Borer is a tree exhibiting a leafless or dead top. The borers start at the crown of the tree and eat their way downward. The damage is caused by the feeding habits of the worm-like larvae which girdle tree trunks and limbs by tunneling beneath the bark and cutting off sap flow. The emergence hole caused by the adult insect is shaped like the letter "D" and is about the size of the the letter as it appears on a newspaper page.
Unfortunately, once a birch tree is infested, control methods are largely ineffective and the death of the tree will usually result. A healthy, properly maintained birch tree is the best prevention for Bronze Birch Borer. Sufficient watering is most important as a large birch tree will extract enough water from the soil to fill ten bathtubs on a typical spring day!
To properly water a birch tree, place a soaker hose upside-down around the tree's drip line and let the water run slowly for several hours, ensuring the water is soaking in and not running off. A birch should be watered in this fashion every two to three weeks and more often during hot and windy weather.
It is also important to control other insect pests which could potentially weaken a birch and increase its susceptibility to the Bronze Birch Borer. Two such pests are the Birch Leaf Miner and Aphids, which can be controlled by applying the pesticide "Cygon" as a soil drench below the tree's drip line after the leaves unfurl in the spring. The pesticide label contains clear and simple instructions for this application. Remember...when using pesticides of any kind, it is very important to follow label instructions.
Dead trees and trees exhibiting dieback of more than half the crown must be removed to prevent infestation of neighbouring trees. In Weyburn, many birch trees that are currently healthy are at risk due to dead and dying trees that have not been removed.
Wood from dead birches must not be retained for use as firewood as it could serve as a source of re-infestation.
For more information, contact the Parks Department at (306) 848-3290.