Elm Leaf Beetle management
Please email or call Treetec for a quote on Elm Leaf Beetle treatment.
Treetec provides a range of services including soil treatment and stem / trunk injection. These treatments generally last three years and we offer a two year guarantee.
Where possible Treetec recommends the use of non chemical treatments and cultural methods for the management of plant pests and diseases. Where chemicals are used this should be a part of an Integrated Management System.
The person from Treetec who treats your tree will be a fully qualified arborist with chemical application certification.
The most appropriate Elm Beetle control depends on the season, degree of insect infestation, tree size, tree location / siting and philosophy.
Elm Leaf Beetle infestation can defoliate a tree, if this happens continually the tree may die. Other factors such as drought, poor pruning / lopping or soil compaction will contribute to a decline in tree health. However one or two years of Elm Beetle damage or ongoing moderate damage is very unlikely to kill the host tree, unless there are other significant contributing factors.
Currently the most effective control measures for Elm Beetle involve chemical application. Generally trunk / stem injection or soil injection, both methods have advantages and disadvantages - there is more detail below. It is possible also to do canopy spraying however this is only suitable for some trees at certain times of the year and is more expensive in the long term.
If you are considering having your tree treated it is worthwhile discussing with your neighbours (who own Elm trees) if they would like to have theirs treated at the same time as there are reasonable savings available when nearby trees are treated at one visit.
Note. Nearly all chemicals currently used commercially in Australia to treat Elm Leaf Beetle, regardless of brand name or delivery method, are neonicotinoid insecticides. this is the chemical type that has just had a 2 year ban placed on it by the European Commission. The ban is due to the association between the widespread use of these chemicals and its impact on bee populations.
Elm Leaf Beetle further detail
To manage Elm Beetle infestation it helps to understand a little about the Elm Leaf Beetle life cycle.
The Elm Beetles spend the cooler months in sheltered places such as wood piles, house eaves, cars & under bark. As trees come into leaf the Elm beetle emerges and flies onto the new growth where they begin to feed; they damage the leaves by eating small holes that look as though someone let off a shotgun through the canopy.
About November the Elm leaf beetles lay small yellow eggs usually on the underside of the leaf, then approximately 8 days later the eggs will hatch larvae (looks like a tiny shaved caterpillar). The Elm beetle larvae will also feed on the leaf but they eat the green material leaving a skeletonised appearance, they can trash a tree in just a few weeks. The larvae will go through a series of instars and moults where they progressively get larger (and more voracious). The mature larvae will then migrate down the trunk* and pupate into mature Elm leaf beetles, you may see this at Christmas or soon after. In southern Victoria there are usually 1 or 2 cycles per year
* Many of the Elm Beetle larvae will take the easy option and fall off the tree rather than use the trunk.
Controlling Elm Leaf Beetle
Stem injection / micro injection
Trunk banding, Trunk wrapping, Chemical banding
Principles of Modern Arboricultural Management.
Proper urban tree management is based on
a sound understanding of tree biology that
informs arboricultural practice (Moore 2004).
There are basic principles of tree biology that
are the foundations of modern arboricultural
practice, and these are of greater significance
when the trees concerned are either stressed
or aged (Table 1). These principles must
be considered when putting tree injection
processes in context.
Under these principles tree injection must be
seen as an invasive process that inevitably
wounds the specimen involved. Accordingly,
the injections should only be used when
other techniques have failed and should
be seen as a measure of last resort for pest
control or the improvement of tree health.
With old or stressed trees there is a real
risk that tree injection may actually make
things worse for the specimen that you
are hoping to treat, which is contrary to
the principles of modern arboriculture.
Consequently, tree injections must be seen
as a part of a comprehensive pest control or
tree management program. It should only be
used when other measures have failed and
when the benefits of injection can be shown
to outweigh the risks to tree structure,
vigour and health.
Phone: 03 8644 8005
Elm Leaf Beetle with both beetle and larvae damage to leaf
Neighbouring Elm trees, one with, and one without soil injection treatment
Same Elm trees the next season after soil treatment of both trees
Elm Leaf Beetle and eggs
Eggs and larvae - leaf badly skeletonised
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