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Elm Insects & Diseases


Asian Longhorned BeetleAsian longhorned beetle
A new and potentially serious threat to some of North America’s most beautiful and popular trees is the Asian Longhorned Beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis).  Native to parts of Asia, the beetle is believed to have arrived in North America in the wooden packing material used in cargo shipments from China.  Isolated Asian Longhorned Beetle infestations have been discovered in Brooklyn and Amityville, New York, and in Chicago, Illinois.  In all instances where Asian Longhorned Beetles have been found, authorities have reacted quickly to stop the infestation from spreading. 

Elm Bark BeetleElm bark beetle
The elm bark beetle (not to be confused with the Elm Leaf Beetle) is by far the most important factor in the spread of Dutch Elm Disease.  These tiny insects’ lives revolve around elm trees. The female beetle tunnels into the tree between the bark and the wood and lays its eggs.  When the eggs hatch, the larvae tunnel further into the tree in order to feed before emerging as mature beetles. 

Elm Leaf Beetle
The elm leaf beetle is a pest which poses some danger to the elm tree. Adult beetles are approximately ¼ inch long. Their colour fades from yellow to olive as they mature. They have black stripes on the wing covers and four black spots on the thorax. The larvae are about 1/2 inch long and a dull yellow colour.

Gypsy MothGypsy moth
Like the tale of the sorcerer’s apprentice, the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) is an example of an experiment gone horribly wrong. The moth was brought to the United States in 1869 in a failed attempt to start a silkworm industry. Escaping soon after, the gypsy moth has become, over the past century, a major pest in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada.


Dutch Elm DiseaseDutch elm disease
Dutch elm disease (DED) is the most devastating shade tree disease in North America.  It is a wilt disease with an extremely high fatality rate among elms.   Dutch elm disease (or DED) is caused by a fungus. After the disease is contracted, spores rapidly reproduce and spread toxins throughout the tree.

Other diseases: Anthracnose · Wetwood