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Tree Care

Do You Have Brown Spots on Your Birch Tree Leaves?

By April 16, 2021No Comments

Do you know what is one of the most common outdoor issues that plague homeowners across Calgary let alone Alberta? Sure, you may think it’s an infestation of ants or wasps making a home in your backyard, but it’s not, it’s an insect known as Birch Leafminer.

What are Birch Leafminers?

“Birch leafminers are sawflies native to Europe and were introduced to Canadian forests between 1920 and 1960. Birch leafminers attack all species of birch and have been recorded in all provinces and territories except Nunavut. Females deposit eggs inside new leaves by cutting into the leaf’s surface using a special egg-laying structure that looks and acts like a saw.” (Government of Canada)

Perhaps a more apt name would be birch leaf carpenters. 😉 The name comes from the shape of the damage they cause on the upper side of a leaf, appearing as brown or reddish-brown irregular shaped patches (a leaf “mine”). The mine often causes the leaf’s edge to curl as well.

Why is this a problem?

The result of the eggs being inside the leaf causes the leaf to turn brown and the edges of the leaf to curl. While in the short term this doesn’t jeopardize the tree itself, it makes the appearance of the birch tree look unpleasant and unhealthy. Although, if birch leafminers continue to come back for many years to the same tree, “repeated attacks may weaken the tree and make it more likely to be attacked by other insects.” (Government of Canada)

What can you do to prevent this?

Soil drenching has been found to be effective to help control pests such as leafminers.

Earth Smart Property Solutions’ offers this service from early spring up until mid May before birch leafminers begin their season in late May.

To perform a soil drench, probes are used around the base of the tree to apply product to the base of the plant or tree (root zone). The product is absorbed by the trees roots and works its way up the trunk, throughout the branches and ends ups in the leaves. When leafminers begin to feed on the leaves they absorb the product.

This is effective in helping improve the trees health and to control pests, like aphids, leafminers and more.

Learn more about this service here.

How much does this service cost?

Earth Smart Property Solutions offers this service at a starting price of $65.00 (plus GST).

Please click here to request a quote for this service

Get rid of birch leafminers before they become a problem by booking a Soil Drench today!


Government of Canada, Birch Leafminer, Government of Canada