Part Of River Birch Tree Leaves Are Cupped And Turn Yellow And Trunk Has Cruddy Areas

Question From: Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
Q: My river birch developed reddish areas on leaf margins a few years ago. Only on one trunk of a 4 trunk clump. Every spring/summer those formerly reddish areas turn black. Leaves are very slightly cupped, and turn yellow. Trunk appears to have large 'cruddy' looking areas. Maybe they are normal. Tree is growing on the East side of 2 large spruce trees in a fair amount of shade. Probably more than 1 thing going on. Can this tree be saved? Black margins are on a significant part of the tree.

A: I can't answer that, but you should move it to a sunnier spot and keep it well watered. If it were my tree and I wanted to save it I would have an onsite checkup from a certified arborist. You are right that there are several things going on and only a professional can sort it out. To find one in your area call 800-733-2622 or go to Thanks for Visiting Yardener.  Best, Nancy.