Elm Leaf Beetle Larvae Responsible for Appearance of Franklin Street Elm Trees

In recent days the Town of Wake Forest has received numerous inquiries from area residents concerning the appearance of the elm trees along the east side of South Franklin Street between East Holding Avenue and Elm Avenue.

According to Urban Forestry Coordinator Jennifer Rall, the trees’ appearance has been caused by elm leaf beetle larvae.

Rall says the beetle larvae skeletonize the leaf surface, leaving behind only the veins, creating a lacey appearance when viewed closely and appearing dead when seen from a distance.

Populations of elm leaf beetles fluctuate dramatically from year to year, so few if any elms require treatment annually. Despite their current appearance, healthy elms can tolerate and recover from substantial defoliation.

Rall has asked Bartlett Tree Experts to  evaluate the trees and determine the best course of action for treatment.

For more information, contact Urban Forestry Coordinator Jennifer Rall at 919-435-9565 or [email protected].


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