Birch trees can be a gorgeous addition to your landscape with their distinctive white trunks and gorgeous foliage. But what do you do if you start noticing your tree is looking a little unhealthy? Holes in the bark and a dying crown can be signs that your tree has fallen victim to the bronze birch borer.

If you catch a bronze birch borer infestation in time, you may still be able to save your tree. Read on to learn more about this pest and how you can recognize if it’s attacking your birch trees. 

What Is a Bronze Birch Borer?

The bronze birch borer is a kind of beetle native to the northern parts of North America. These beetles are about half an inch long and olive brown with a coppery sheen to them. Their larvae, the most destructive form of this pest, are about an inch long, have a flat head, and are a creamy white color.

As you might expect from the name, bronze birch borers live in birch trees and can cause serious damage to them. The beetles tend to travel to new areas in bundles of firewood, and they tend to seek out trees that are already old or damaged. Left untreated, the bronze birch borer can damage an unhealthy tree to the point that it has to be removed.


There are several symptoms that may indicate if your tree has a bronze birch borer infestation. First you may notice that the leaves on the top of your tree start turning yellow or brown in the middle of the summer. If the infestation is allowed to continue, larger branches in the crown of your tree may start dying off, too.

Of course, being borers, another primary symptom of this pest is holes in the trunk and larger branches of your tree. You may also start to notice ridges on these branches and on the trunk of your tree. These marks are signs of adult bronze birch borers moving around inside your tree.


If one of your trees gets infested with bronze birch borers, you have a few options for treatment. Of course, the best way to manage them is to plant your trees in proper locations and keep them healthy. The bronze birch borer insect cannot kill a healthy tree and will generally avoid them.

If you already have an infestation, there are chemical treatments you can use to get rid of bronze birch borers and their larvae. These will need to be applied in the spring after the tree has already flowered. In some cases, your tree may be too far gone to treat and may need to be removed.

Learn More About the Bronze Birch Borer

The bronze birch borer can pose a serious threat to birch trees, especially those that are old, diseased, or damaged. The best treatment is to keep your tree in good health as much as possible. If you do get an infestation, talk to a pest control company about using appropriate chemical treatments.

If you’d like to learn more about the birch bronze borer, check out the rest of our site at Planet Friendly Pest Control. We are focused on providing our clients with the very best in pest control, rodent extermination, and termite control, while reducing the overall impact on the environment. Contact us today for a free phone consultation with one of our experts and start getting your pests under control.

If you live in Southern Maryland, or Northern Virginia and need help please call us now or visit our website here.