Elm Leaf Beetle poses a significant threat to Victoria's Elm populations and without treatment, continued infestations cause a decrease in tree health and vigour and can lead to premature tree death.

Elms (Ulmus sp.) have been planted throughout Victoria over the past 100 years and the genetic potential of these stately trees has allowed some plantings to now have a major significance within Melbourne's landscape. Avenues such as the Ulmus procera (English Elm) along Victoria Parade, East Melbourne and the large Ulmus glabra 'Lutescens' (Golden Elm) on the corner of Alexandra Parade and Punt Road, South Yarra are two such examples.

Unfortunately many of Victorias' Elms have in recent times been predated upon by Pyrrhalta luteola (Elm Leaf Beetle); a small flying insect whose larva and adults feed on the foliage of several Ulmus sp. and has also been recorded on Zelkova serrata (Japanese Elm). At this stage Ulmus parvifolia (Chinese Elm) appears resistant to attack from this pest.

Danger of non-treatment

If left untreated Elm Leaf Beetle can reduce the health and vigour of a tree over time and may eventually contribute to its demise. Currently, the most effective method of Elm Leaf Beetle treatment is to inject the soil around a tree with a solution of a systemic insecticide and water. This solution is then available for the tree to absorb via its root system and as a result the chemical enters the vascular system of the tree making the foliage poisonous to predating pests. This treatment is best done in late winter/early spring, just prior to leaf bud burst. If this treatment is not suitable due to the conditions surrounding your tree then alternative methods such as canopy spraying or direct trunk injection may need to be sought.

Effective Treatment Services

Contact Star Tree Services for further information on this pest and to discuss the most desirable treatment method for your tree, for without treatment the health of your tree may decline and the proliferation of this pest will be assisted.

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