Cynthia St. Charles Store

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Leaf Beetles

This spring I planted 5 small aspen trees in the front, where they should shade the big western facing windows from summer heat when they grow tall enough.
These trees are not supposed to attract deer, but they have been eating off all the lower leaves, anyway.

This morning, I discovered these poor baby trees are also being attacked from the top! I looked these beetles up and learned they are specific to cottonwood and aspen trees. I checked out our big old cottonwood tree and found them chewing away there, too.

Since I am sensitive to insecticides, I am going to just try picking these beetles off the leaves this time. There might be something organic I can do to remove them, but for now, I can reach the top of the trees, and they are small, so I will try to do it manually.


tiedyejudy said...

My first thought when I saw the picture was that you were going to use the design on their shells! As for deer eating the lower leaves, out here aspens and poplars are Elk candy, so I imagine the deer are kind of fond of them too... summer salads!
Good luck with your bug elimination system!

Connie Rose said...

Safer makes a product that you can use on the beetles. I had something similar years ago when I gardened intensively. They're beautiful little things -- the beetles -- despite causing so much damage. And the damage they cause becomes systemic to the plant, so eventually the plants or trees die from within. Better get 'em in check!