Council to commence treatment for Elm Leaf Beetle in Colac
March 21, 2019

Colac Otway Shire Council has identified Elm Leaf Beetle in Elm trees across Colac parks, reserves and streets, and is encouraging local residents to check any Elm trees on their properties.

General Manager of Infrastructure and Leisure Services Tony McGann said Elm Leaf Beetle is a serious pest across the Colac Otway region.

“The risk of leaving Elms untreated is that the Elm Leaf Beetle will feed on leaves and could completely defoliate mature trees,” Mr McGann said.

“Council is planning a treatment program in an effort to protect significant trees on Council managed land at various locations including Memorial Square, the Botanic Gardens, Murray Street and around COPACC and Barongarook Creek.

“Treatment of the Elm Leaf Beetle will take place through September and October.

“Trees are treated with an approved systemic pesticide that is applied around the drip line in a bid to control and reduce the spread of the Elm Leaf Beetle. If there are isolated pest outbreaks, a follow up treatment of spraying foliage with insecticide may be required to limit damage to the Elm trees.

“By treating the trees at the first sign of the Elm Leaf Beetle, Council is hoping to maintain the long term health and structural integrity of the trees, reducing early leaf drop which occurs when a tree is heavily infested,” Mr McGann said.

Adult Elm Leaf Beetles cause holes in the leaves called ‘shot-holes’. Damaged caused by Elm Leaf Beetle larvae is called ‘skeletonisation’, where everything is eaten except for leaf veins.

Private home owners in the Colac Otway Shire are encouraged to look out for signs of Elm Leaf Beetle if they have Elm trees on their property. Damage caused by adult Elm Leaf Beetles are called ‘shot-holes’, and appears as small, chewed out holes in the leaves. Elm Leaf Beetle larvae cause damage called ‘skeletonisation’, where everything is eaten except for leaf veins.

If private home owners suspect they have a Elm Tree Beetle problem they should contact a suitably experienced arborist or Elm Leaf Beetle treatment specialist to treat their trees as Council does not treat privately owned trees.



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