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Published By Todd Lucier on August 25th, 2005 in Edge Insider
Last September I wrote about the rather signifant outbreak of Birch Skeletonizer that was making our Birch trees drop their leaves signifantly earlier than normal. To our collective memory we had never experienced anything like this before.
See posts from September 04 for more on leaf skeletonizer.
An update: this year it seems there is still significant impact from these critters, making many birch trees show brown leaves, but it does not seem to be as dramatic a show as last year.
Out the window I see a few of the shiny strands the bugs use as they make their way to the ground to lay eggs which will over-winter in the leaf litter before hatching out and climbing the trees to munch away again next spring.
The efficiency of these bugs can prevent the birches from producing enough sugar to last them through the winter and so we had many birch trees die over the winter and not leaf out this year.
We’ve been slow to cut these trees down, but this fall, we’ll be bucking up some birch fire wood for use a winter or two from now to provide heat in the Main House and Points North. I count at least 8 such killed trees on the lower portion of our property here on the Edge of Algonquin Park.
Perhaps the visual impact of the bugs is less dramatic due to these trees not having leaves to turn brown. Hopefully, some of our more significant birches will survive this year’s leaf skeletonizer attack.