A beetle that destroys the leaves on a popular elm tree is now being found in Bowral.
Consulting and practicing arborist, Guy O’Donnell B.Sc. said he had recently received calls from people concerned the destructive beetle had “inundated their homes in Merrigang Street, Bowral.”
Mr O’Donnell of Elm Consultants.Com.Au is credited with identifying the Elm Leaf Beetle outbreak in Adelaide in December 2011.
He said the beetles attacking the Bowral trees were last season beetles that had emerged from hibernation to mate and lay eggs on the underside of the usually lowest leaves.
“These will hatch into tiny larvae, which after three moults, will have grown to 11mm and will then pupate into the new seasons’ beetles around early January, though the season is late this year. There are sufficient numbers now in peoples’ gardens there to do rapid and extensive damage across the foliage of even the very well developed mature elms during the coming January,” he said.
“Tell tale signs are the initial shot holes through the leaf made by the beetle, upwards from 1mm in diameter and later, the skeletonising under the leaf surface. The eggs are yellow and laid in two or three lines on the undersurface.
“One beetle could lay up to 30 eggs, so 100 beetles emerging from hibernation in mid October will produce up to 3000 by January, which can become 90,000 by the end of the second generation in the following April.”
Mr O’Donnell has treated elms throughout Sutton Forest and Exeter, where the initial infestation occurred last January. “We can successfully treat the elms for extensive time periods,” he said.
In January 2018 he tended to the trees owned by Sutton Forest resident Valerie de Burca, who owns four 30-year-old Golden Elms, each spreading 15 meters across. Mr O’Donnell said all of Ms de Burca’s trees had their canopies stripped by 50 per cent.
He said he treated the to stop any further attack using sterile stem injections. “Two of her protected trees are now showing their original beauty and shouldn’t need retreating till 2020,” he said.
Mr O’Donnell first commenced the his Consulting and Practicing arborist business in the Highlands in 1981 and specialises in Elm Leaf Beetle treatment. He has continued to consult in the Highlands for the past 36 years.
Details: 0412 288 626 or https://tinyurl.com/ELB-0412288626