The City’s Parks and Gardens team are commencing a program to control Elm Leaf Beetles from damaging Geelong’s population of beloved Elm Trees.
There are 680 Elm trees on public land across the City of Greater Geelong, with each one playing an integral role in creating a ‘cool green city’ as outlined in our Urban Forest Strategy.
Elm trees, of which there are few remaining populations worldwide, provide shade to reduce temperatures in summer, intercept and reduce stormwater flows into the bay and river, ameliorate air pollution, store carbon and provide a connection to nature in our suburbs and city.
The Elm Leaf Beetle feeds on the tree’s large leaves and can defoliate the trees causing premature death.
The City uses best practice in Elm Leaf Beetle management by injecting insecticide chemicals (Confidor) into the soil for translocation up the tree to the leaves where the beetle ingests the chemical when feeding.
The chemical application is contained to the soil, the base of the tree and the leaves which the Elm Leaf Beetle feed on. It is not absorbed into the tree’s pollen, so it is not hazardous to our precious bee community. It is also safe for animals and is regularly used in domestic animal flea collars.
The highly specialised work will be conducted by ArborSpray – and will commence in early September when the beetles emerge from hibernation to start feeding.
We encourage residents who have Elm trees on their property to control Elm Leaf Beetles by calling a professional service.
For small numbers of trees, trunk banding is the simplest way of breaking the Elm Leaf Beetle life cycle and reducing the number of beetles on a tree. Commercial bands can be sourced from horticultural suppliers and can be applied throughout the growing season.
Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher:
This program is vital in helping our beautiful Elm trees live a long life and provide natural beauty and shade for the amenity of our residents.
By controlling the Elm Leaf Beetle, we are helping Geelong to remain a ‘cool green city’.
Cr Eddy Kontelj, Chair, Environment portfolio:
We all rely on trees to keep us cool in the summer and sheltered in the winter, and our planet relies on trees to store carbon and help reduce air pollution.
The City’s program will protect these special Elm trees and ensure their survival into the future.