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Birch Leaf Blight Breakout in Massachusetts


The Birch Leaf Blight fungus disease that defoliates Birch trees is becoming more prevalent across our region.

There has been a lot of buzz around the Carpenter Costin office about Birch Leaf Blight, and although we usually see a few cases each year, this particular fungus seems to be defoliating more Birch trees than ever before in our area.

Identifying Birch Leaf Blight

Birch Leaf Blight is usually found on River Birches and can be identified by black or brown spots on the leaves, usually encircled by a yellowish halo. This disease will cause leaves to drop quickly, so if your Birch is dropping leaves early, investigate the fallen leaves for blight spots.

birch lead blight disease

Treating Birch Leaf Blight

Once identified, immediate action should be taken to prevent further damage, and attempt to revitalize the infected Birch. Fungicide and fertilizer applications should be used to attack the fungus and strengthen the tree. It is also important to dispose of the fallen leaves accordingly as blight can spread easily through rain splash. Keeping your trees well-watered will also help promote new leaf production after infection.

river birch blight

Preventing Birch Leaf Blight

In order to protect your Birch trees from leaf blight, you should consider a fungicide program that consists of three to four treatments throughout the growing season. You should also plan for spring and fall fertilizer applications, or more if necessary.

If your Birches are defoliating it is likely due to Birch Leaf Blight disease. Consult with a Certified Arborist immediately to treat the disease before it is too late, and before the disease spreads to other Birches in the area.


river birch defoliated

This defoliated Birch has been devastated by Birch Leaf Blight.


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