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Local birch trees threatened by beetles

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Birch trees are dying off in an alarming rate across Idaho. The Bronze Birch Borer is a beetle that attacks these trees killing them off one by one across our landscape.

The beetles though aren't the only reason for the death of birch trees. These trees are not native to Idaho. Most of these trees come from the east side of the country. They thrive in cool, wet environments and are best suited in forests along the riverside. Putting them in the drier Idaho climate does not provide them with enough nutrients to be healthy.

The Bronze Birch Borers then feast on the weakened trees. While other native Idaho trees are stronger and have defense mechanisms against the bugs, the birch trees are too weak to do so. The borers will drill two holes into the bark of the tree, one coming in and one going out. They target the inside tissues of the tree which are essential for survival. Once these are depleted, the tree can no longer survive.

The best way to keep these trees alive and healthy is to make sure they get enough water. While they only need to be watered every other week, they do still need lots of water. The problem usually comes when the grass layer above them steals all of the water before it touches the roots of the tree. If we water these birch trees areas with lots of water, then some of it will make it's way down into the roots.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho

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Evan Thomason

Evan is the weekend meteorologist and reporter.


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