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Elm Leaf Beetle

Elm leaf beetle (Xanthogaleruca luteola) is a serious pest of all Elm trees.

Council treats for Elm leaf beetle on Council trees every two years. This is done by soil and stem injection into or beneath Council-owned Elm Trees.

Yellow and dark brown adult beetles are evident from mid-October and create a series of small holes in leaves during October and November.

Beetle larvae, also yellow and dark brown, then destroy all but the veins of leaves, creating a ‘skeleton’ effect.

The larvae descend the trunk during December and are visible on the ground below the tree. There may be up to three life cycles of the beetle in a single season, depending on the weather conditions.

Trees affected by elm leaf beetles can become defoliated by mid-Summer, so there is no Summer shade or Autumn colours, and reduced energy reserves for next year’s growth.

Repeated infestations and defoliation seriously weaken trees. Total eradication of elm leaf beetle is extremely difficult. The main aim is to maintain elm leaf beetle numbers and damage to an acceptable level.

Elm leaf beetles
Adult Elm leaf beetles sheltering under the
bark of a Eucalypt during Winter.
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