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The wood boring beetle, Bronze birch borer is a very serious pest of birch trees in the Midwest. It can severely injure and kill all varieties of white birch. The bronze birch borer only attacks trees in a weakened condition. Most often birch become weak because of drought, nutrient deficiency, construction injury, or excessive heat. The first sign of attack is usually a thinning or dieback of branches in the upper third of the tree's canopy. Leaves on infested branches may be stunted, yellow or show marginal browning in May or June. Over time the damage progresses downward to lower branches and the trunk. Typically, borers kill trees in three to four years. Very weak trees may die in one year.