Are Japanese Beetles Doing Damage to Your Tree Leaves?

Are Japanese Beetles Doing Damage to Your Tree Leaves?

As the summer heat hits, we take special care to maintain our trees. This way, they’ll hold on to their full canopy and radiant, seasonal glow all summer.

Unfortunately, there’s one summer pest that gives our trees just as much attention, but doesn’t treat them as kindly. Japanese beetles take over tree canopies on warm, sunny days.

You can control their damage, though, by detecting and acting quickly. Below discover what trees Japanese beetles do and don’t like to eat and how to get rid of this garden pest.

When do Japanese beetles arrive?

This pest emerges and attacks plants from mid-June to August.

What trees do Japanese beetles eat?

This pest does play favorites when it comes to trees. Here are a few tree types Japanese beetles love:

  • Crape myrtle
  • Birch
  • Littleleaf linden
  • Crabapple
  • Purple leaf plum
  • Japanese maple
  • Norway maple
  • Weeping cherry
  • Ornamental cherry

Are there Japanese beetle resistant trees?

Yes! There are a few trees Japanese beetles avoid:

  • Evergreens
  • Red maple
  • White oak
  • Red oak

How do Japanese beetles do damage to tree leaves?

These flying pests eat away chunks of tree leaves and flowers. Often, they’ll leave nothing more than the skeleton behind.

When a Japanese beetle infestation is severe, tree leaves may brown at the top of the canopy or leaves may drop prematurely.

How can I get rid of Japanese beetles on trees?

To prevent Japanese beetle tree damage, apply one or two treatments a few weeks apart between June and August.

Learn more about how to control Japanese beetles in your trees and garden here!

  • The Tree Doctor June 25, 2018 >Hi Janice, It sounds like you likely have a Japanese Beetle problem. The standard insecticide for treating these insects is Sevin, which is widely available at garden centers or big box stores. There are other insecticides also registered for use on ornamental trees. The staff at your local garden center should be able to steer you in the proper direction. Hopefully, this helps. Best of luck to you Janice!
  • Janice curtsinger June 20, 2018 >What do I treat my small 2nd year planted trees beetles are eating them up, HELP
  • The Tree Doctor August 2, 2017 >Hi Kathie! So sorry to hear about the japanese beetles on your property. Luckily, the beetles won't directly kill your birch tree, BUT they can defoliate the tree if the infestation is bad enough. You'll want to keep an eye out for lawn grubs on your property this fall too. You can apply treatment for this now through early fall. More info on that here: Here if you have any other questions, Kathie.
  • Kathie Klemetson August 1, 2017 >We have a birch tree the Japanese Beetles is eating the leaves will it kill my tree?
  • Bret Lieberherr March 3, 2017 >We had Japanese Beetles eat the leaves on our Linden tree. I know how to treat for the grubs, but is there something that can treat the tree itself for adults? Something that won't hurt honeybees or other animals.
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