The Q&A Archives: Copper Beach Tre

Question: I have a Copper Beech Tree and every year it's leaves get eaten and the tree can't thrive. What can I do to prevent this from happening and how can I get the tree healthy again.

Answer: Based on your description I am not certain what pest is eating your tree, however it might be Japanese beetles. Japanese beetles are difficult to control, in part because they fly long distances. You can try to repel them using a spray containing neem, or you can handpick them (they are sluggish early and late in the day), or you can spray with carbaryl (the active ingredient in Sevin) but this is a contact insecticide with no residual action. You can also use beneficial nematodes or milky spore disease to kill them at the grub stage although this must be done over a wide area to be effective. Be sure to read and carefully follow all of the label directions on any product you use. The traps are not recommended because they seem to attract more than they catch. Most gardeners find they have to tolerate a certain amount of damage, and some years are more severe than others.

Since I am not certain this is the problem, I would also suggest you consult with your local Penn State cooperative extension to obtain a more specific diagnosis. Based on knowing that, you can decide what to do. If a chemical control is needed, they will have the most up to date information on what to use and how/when to use it for best results.

Good luck with your tree!

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