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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What's wrong with my plant? > Deciduous Trees > Birch > Leaf drop during the growing season

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Birch > Leaves > Leaf drop during the growing season

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  • Image: Birch anthracnose 1
  • Image: Birch anthracnose 2
  • Image: Birch anthracnose 3

Birch anthracnose or leaf spot
Cryptocline betularum, Discula betulina and others

  • Infected leaves fall from tree even if still partly green
  • Leaves on lower branches most affected
  • Leaf spots may be 1/8th to 3/8th inch brown spots to large brown blotches surrounded by yellow tissue (C. betularum)
  • Leaf spots may be 1/8th inch wide brown rings with a light center surrounded by yellow tissue (D. betulina)
  • Common in years with wet rainy spring weather
  • More information on Birch anthracnose
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  • Image: Birch rust 1
  • Image: Birch rust 2
  • Image: Birch rust 3

Birch rust
Melampsoridium betulinum

  • Severe infection can cause leaves to turn brown and fall off prematurely
  • Angular yellow leaf spots turn brown in the center with age
  • Raised yellow to orange pustules form on the lower surface of leaf spots midsummer and may release powdery orange spores
  • Occurs in cool, damp weather
  • More information on Birch rust

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