Arborcare-Arborscape, Inc. 2015

ArborCare ArborScape (801) 972-Tree (8733)

Elm Leaf Beetles, Elm Scale, & Bacterial Wetwood

What are elm leaf beetles?

There are two stages of the elm leaf beetle’s life that can be a nuisance: the adult and the larval. The adult beetles are small and yellow to green with two dark stripes. The larvae are about the same size as the adults, green to yellow, and have dark spots and stripes.


What damage will the beetles cause?

The larvae cause the most noticeable damage on the tree. They can skeletonize the leaves (eating most of the green tissue of the leaf, leaving only the veins and cuticles). The adults also feed on the leaves, but chew only small holes in them. If the infestation is severe there may be an early leaf drop. The tree may re-leaf in the summer, but recurring infestations can weaken the tree.


What can I do to control elm leaf beetles?

Chemical free methods of controlling elm leaf beetle include planting resistant or somewhat resistant cultivars and maintaining the health of the tree. A variety of pesticides are available to help control the beetle. While most methods are a spray application, there are some systemic chemicals that can be injected into the soil or directly into the trunk. These are translocated throughout the tree to provide longer control.


Are there any other elm problems I should watch for?

European elm scale: a red-brown to purplish scale surrounded by a waxy material that feeds on the twigs and branches of the tree. This can be treated with horticultural oil, active insecticide sprays, and systemic treatments.


Bacterial wetwood/slime flux: this is a bacterial infection often seen in elms and some other trees. It causes an excess of moisture in the wood, usually trunk and main branches and often at the location of where forks occur. A foul-smelling, brown fluid can be seen, as well as discolored bark and wood. There is no treatment for this infection.


What can Arborcare do for me?

European elm scale: a red-brown to purplish scale surrounded by a waxy material that feeds on the twigs and branches of the tree. This can be treated with horticultural oil, active insecticide sprays, and systemic treatments.


Bacterial wetwood/slime flux: this is a bacterial infection often seen in elms and some other trees. It causes an excess of moisture in the wood, usually trunk and main branches and often at the location of where forks occur. A foul-smelling, brown fluid can be seen, as well as discolored bark and wood. There is no treatment for this infection.


If you have any questions or would like to speak with an ArborCare representative regarding your tree care needs, please e-mail us at info@arborcare-arborscape.com or call us at (801) 972-8733.



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Symptoms