Elm and Maple Trees Being Devoured?

Adult leafhoppers are green wedge shaped insects approximately 1/8 of an inch long that can fly and jump. The nymphs can not fly. They over winter as eggs in the plant tissue, and in the spring the nymphs emerge and feed on the plants. They cause their damage by sucking sap from the leaves.

Aphids are small, soft bodies insects which also suck the juices from the plant tissue. They are found in large numbers, and may or may not have wings. They over winter as black eggs on the stems of perennials. Aphids secrete a honeydew which other insects such as ants, bees, and flies feed on.

The control for both of these insects is to paint a band of dimethoate (Cygon 2-E) onto the trunk of the tree below the first lateral branch. The width of the band (1 – 2 inches) depends upon the diamter of the tree. An organic remedy, as an alternative to the pesticide, is to spray the foliage with insecticidal soap. A home recipe for this is to mix one tablespoon of soft dishwashing liquid in one gallon of water, and spray this on the tree. These treatments should be repeated as necessary.

Do not spray dimethoate on Elms

By Dr. Paton and Vicki East