Elm Leaf Beetle Control

The Problem

Melbourne has been said to have the world’s most significant population of Elm Trees, due to the Elm Leaf Beetle already wiping out most of Europe & America’s Elm trees.

The Elm Leaf Beetle (Pyrrhalta luteola) is here in Melbourne and is responsible for major damage to our significant population of Elm Trees (Ulmus sp.) It is destructive and eats into leaves which can cause a decrease in the tree’s ability to photosynthesize light into energy creating food. This results in stress & decline as energy reserves dwindle and may lead to the eventual death of the tree.

Elm Leaf Beetle further detail

To manage the insects’ infestation, it helps to understand a little about its life cycle.

The beetles spend the cooler months in sheltered places such as wood piles, house eaves, cars & under the bark. As trees come into leaf, they emerge and fly 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.

In about November, the beetles lay small yellow eggs usually on the underside of the leaf. Approximately eight days later the eggs will hatch larvae (looks like a tiny shaved caterpillar). The larvae will feed on the leaf leaving a skeletonized appearance. They can ruin a tree in just a few weeks. The mature larvae will then migrate down the trunk and pupate into mature beetles. You may see this at Christmas or soon after. In southern Victoria, there are usually 1 or 2 cycles per year.

Control of Elm Leaf Beetle (Pyrrhalta luteola)

The most appropriate control from this problem depends on the season, degree of insect infestation, tree size and it’s location.

Elm Leaf Beetle infestation can defoliate a tree which might ultimately cause the tree to die. Other factors such as drought, poor pruning/lopping or soil compaction will also contribute to a decline in tree health. However, one or two years of beetle damage is very unlikely to kill the host tree.

Currently, the most effective control measures for this infestation is chemical application. Either trunk/stem injection or soil injection. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages. It is also possible to do a canopy spraying. However, this is only suitable for some trees at certain times of the year and is a more expensive option 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 all get treated at one visit.

The below forms of treatment can also rid your trees of other insect infestations, including:

Sooty mould caused by aphids
Psyllids
Gum leaf skeletonizer

Soil Injection

The insecticide Confidor is injected around the root zone where it is taken up by the roots and translocated to the foliage. This is a safe and effective method of treating large trees. Based on our experience the tree can be protected for more than two seasons. The best time for this treatment is July to November although later treatments are effective provided soil moisture is not limited.

This treatment is surprisingly affordable, yet the results are invaluable.

Is winter the best time of year for tree trimming?

Biological Sprays

Natural and environmentally friendly sprays include Entrust and natural Pyrethrum. Timing is very important. Entrust is effective against larvae, and should be applied in early December for best results. Natural pyrethrum can be applied from November to February.

Stem Injection

Stem Injection involves injecting the treatment directly into the vascular system. This treatment is quickly effective and can be applied at any time of the year. However, we recommend timing treatments for September to November before beetle activity occurs. The chemical used for stem injection is SilvaShield and has the same active ingredient as used in soil injection.

Frequently Asked Questions

Your hedges and shrubs should be professionally trimmed at least once a year at the start of the winter season to improve the overall health of the plants. Professional hedge trimming or shrub trimming services can help provide your shrubbery with that needed sunshine to all parts of the hedge or shrub. Additionally, professional hedge pruning services know exactly how much your hedge or shrub will need to be pruned so that you don’t over prune and damage new buds or stunt growth as they are often delicate plants. Further to this, trimming your hedges or shrubs correctly stimulates the production of new buds and growth for the spring and summer season.
Your hedges and shrubs should be professionally trimmed at least once a year at the start of the winter season to improve the overall health of the plants. Professional hedge trimming or shrub trimming services can help provide your shrubbery with that needed sunshine to all parts of the hedge or shrub. Additionally, professional hedge pruning services know exactly how much your hedge or shrub will need to be pruned so that you don’t over prune and damage new buds or stunt growth as they are often delicate plants. Further to this, trimming your hedges or shrubs correctly stimulates the production of new buds and growth for the spring and summer season.
Your hedges and shrubs should be professionally trimmed at least once a year at the start of the winter season to improve the overall health of the plants. Professional hedge trimming or shrub trimming services can help provide your shrubbery with that needed sunshine to all parts of the hedge or shrub. Additionally, professional hedge pruning services know exactly how much your hedge or shrub will need to be pruned so that you don’t over prune and damage new buds or stunt growth as they are often delicate plants. Further to this, trimming your hedges or shrubs correctly stimulates the production of new buds and growth for the spring and summer season.
Your hedges and shrubs should be professionally trimmed at least once a year at the start of the winter season to improve the overall health of the plants. Professional hedge trimming or shrub trimming services can help provide your shrubbery with that needed sunshine to all parts of the hedge or shrub. Additionally, professional hedge pruning services know exactly how much your hedge or shrub will need to be pruned so that you don’t over prune and damage new buds or stunt growth as they are often delicate plants. Further to this, trimming your hedges or shrubs correctly stimulates the production of new buds and growth for the spring and summer season.

What our customers are saying

Very professional and friendly. They trimmed a large cypress hedge down the side of the block. The best it has looked for years
Mike M
Mike M
17/10/2023
Highly recommend - punctual, professional and reasonably priced.
Andrew Noisette
Andrew Noisette
13/10/2023
I have been using Daryl's Tree Care for years, in order to maintain my Eucalypts and Lillypillys. Recently they quoted for, and performed, a large amount of work involving pruning and cable-bracing 4 large trees. Their team of 4 specialists arrived on time and performed the requested work in 4.5 hours (which I thought was excellent). As usual I am very satisfied with the work done, as well as the expertise and professionalism of their team.
Michael Sanders
Michael Sanders
04/10/2023
Came to quote ✅ came and pruned my Magnolia ✅ I cannot recommend your business highly enough. Fabulous professionalism…..I would recommend your services to anyone and everyone ! Thank you Daryl’s Tree Care
Peter and Susan Akesson-Lewis
Peter and Susan Akesson-Lewis
28/09/2023
Thankyou Daryls Tree Care for a taking down a troublesome gum tree which had dropped some big branches in our backyard. The team came quickly and were so professional. They did a great job and cleared up exactly as we wanted. Best price from other quotes. Thanks Daryls , we would recommend this company. Regards Maureen Russell.
Maureen Russell
Maureen Russell
07/09/2023
I have used the services of Daryl’s tree care for several years. The company is professional and responsive, from initial quote to job completion. Their pricing is reasonable and they take great care on the job. Highly recommended.
Amelia N
Amelia N
25/08/2023
We were very happy with with the service provided by the team from Daryl's Tree Care, from the quote through to completion of the pruning/trimming on a large and valued tree that is very close to the house. Gerry was excellent on advising and communicating regularly throughout the work completed with Alex and Jake. We would highly recommend them for arborist services.
Ian Jackson
Ian Jackson
24/08/2023
Fantastic service provided again by the team, everyone from the initial booking through to completion was helpful and friendly, and the job was completed with good consultation and no fuss, and well cleaned up afterwards too. Many thanks and I'll continue to be a repeat customer.
Jess Hazlett
Jess Hazlett
23/08/2023
Daryl's Tree Care arrived when they said they would, got the job done with high quality and efficiently. Very reliable service. Highly recommend them.
Michael Gallacher
Michael Gallacher
22/08/2023
Great team of guys. Really knew what they were doing. Kept me informed throughout the works and cleaned up like they were never here. Well done.
Phil Graham
Phil Graham
21/08/2023
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