Elm Leaf Beetle Treatment Southern Highlands

Guy O’Donnell B.Sc. ElmConsultants.Com.Au

Do you live in the southern highlands? You may not have heard about the Elm Leaf Beetle. Yet. It’s here. 

A young beetle                                              Brighter colours with age and 5-6mm long.

In July 2017, starting in Mittagong, I found it had spread to  Bowral, High Range, Burradoo, Moss Vale, Sutton Forest, Exeter, Bundanoon and Berrima and had attacked every Elm I stopped to look at. Fitzroy Falls, Kangaloon and Robertson were the same. Judging by the level of foliage damage, it is in its second or third season in the Highlands. This means there is a significant build up of the beetle population sufficient enough to defoliate a 50 year old Golden Elm, by February, having started in October in one growth season. The only reason the Grand English Elms we love and Golden Elms weren’t seriously attacked by Christmas was the late zero degree frost in October.

But hoping there’s a frost is hardly a reason not to protect your elm against the inevitable.  We can provide an effective level of protection of your tree for up to 3 growth seasons or part thereof. Last spring(2017),  the Highland Elms, were lucky, but the beetle numbers have been  increasing since then, as they do, because ELB cannot be eradicated, and you will see shot holes in the leaves then the larvae causing leaf skeletonising till late March -April. In fact, the beetles will hibernate and emerge in October typically; and the cycle continues.

Repeated defoliation results in terminal bud dieback and loss of the Canopy curvature with resultant tertiary (branchlet) dieback. If prolonged, sporadic dieback of primary and secondary laterals will occur, because photosynthesis will be repeatedly interrupted and photosynthate-storage will be reduced ; ultimately  major laterals i.e. the scaffold branches of the tree will go into decline and die. contact elmconsultants.com.au if you would like to find out more, we service all of the Southern Highlands & Wollongong.

Sooner or later, most of the Elms in the Highlands will be decimated. Every leaf turns brown, curls and drops.

I discovered and notified Biosecurity in Adelaide after finding the mother tree in Malvern in December 2011. In 3 years it had spread to every suburb across the Metropolitan Area. 2 years later, very few pockets of trees were not attacked and it had spread in a radius upto 2 hours from Adelaide along the major traffic arteries hitching a lift on vehicles and people.  It is now endemic throughout SA wherever Elms grow.

Proof of Treatment 

St Peters Boys school Adelaide

Classic weeping elm

elm tree at school

PROOF OF TREATMENT Summer 2015 on 3 Golden Elm Cultivars

1ST  Cultivar 20 years old

Summer 2016

2nd Cultivar Front view Summer 2015

Reverse view Summer  2017

2nd Cultivar 35 years old. Summer 2015

3rd Cultivar 50 years old. Late Summer 2016

When are the Beetles most active and what damage do they make??

Photos show the process for the first generation. There will be a 2nd and possible third depending upon geographical location and its climate. The monthly timings vary according to climatic influence.


Stem injection ONLY

What we do



Why we wont spray

Ladybirds and Assassin bugs help the natural predators colonise your garden.



(A) Interrupt the life cycle

1. 3 DAY DUCT tape

DUCT tape is the safest method. CHANGE IT EVERY 3 DAYS.

elm leaf beetle solutions

treat your tree from the elm leaf beetle

Sticky pads can melt , running down trunk and blocking the lenticels of

the bark preventing the bark from breathing

2.Clear all litter from around each tree for 500mm and keep as bare


3.So when pupae settle there you sweep them up and drop them into

a bucket of water

(B) Irrigation particularly in hot dry climates like Adelaide

1. Water heavily before and after for a couple of weeks each time

your tree is injected then once per week through summer in hot

dry climates.

Damage from injectors methods to avoid

I don’t leave plastic plugs in your trees. I only drill a 3.5 mm hole using a sterile drill bit, a sterile injector, and a sterile filler nozzle. The images below show what should NOT be done.

Our reviews
5(based on 6 reviews)
  • 5star umu 10/03/2017
  • great service, great company amy 10/03/2017
  • Incredible service from Guy, very happy Sharron 01/04/2018
  • we were so lucky to have Guy notice our Elm trees were in danger of not surviving. we hope all the work he has put into the injections work well Valerie de Burca 01/09/2018
  • Hi, How are you doing? Are you looking for the combined set of web services? I can help you get the best in industry web design and mobile app services. Also, get some amazing SEO services for website ranking. Thanks Yash yash 05/15/2018
  • Hi, How are you doing? Are you looking for the combined set of web services? I can help you get the best in industry web design and mobile app services. Also, get some amazing SEO services for website ranking. Thanks Yash yash 05/15/2018