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in Problem solving
I wonder if it might not be age, 70 is quite mature for a silver birch. They're not usually bothered by wet, as their roots are fairly shallow and I've seen them growing happily at the edges of marshes.
It's unusual to have such a bad infestation on a birch, but I guess it's an unusual year.
Good luck - if the aphids are shed with the leaves, it should certainly help.
Hi I have exactly the same problem with my silver birches and live in the Edinburgh area. I have noticed new leaves appearing very slowly too but the most affected tree is losing it's leaves with the slightest breeze. Glad to hear it's probably aphids. Did you try the hosing down thing?
We are having a similar problem in Northern Ireland. Our silver birch looks like only about 2/3 of the canopy has formed. Leaves are spotted and dropping as we speak. we noticed this for the past 2 years and tried to ignore it and stick our heads in the sand! Tree is approx 30 years old and the centre piece of our garden! I'm feeling your pain????