River Birch Leafed Out Only On Bottom Half

Question From: Camden, Ohio, United States
Q: Just the bottom half of river birch leafed out. Bare branches are still bendable. we had a couple nights in upper twenties in spring. could they have gotten frozen? do you think they will come out next year?

A: Birches have taken a heavy hit in the record cold winter and late season frosts. The limbs that are leafless now are dead. Your birch is in decline and is probably dying, as it is the leaves that make food carbohydrates that feed the tree. You might think about a replacement. Best Nancy