2000 - Volume #24, Issue #6, Page #35
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Tanglefoot Sticky Gook Kills Elm Tree Beetles

Some years ago I found that the leaves on my two elm trees were dead by mid summer. I thought the trees were dead, too, but the following spring they came out again in full leaf only to die again by mid summer. I checked with the Nebraska Ag College and they told me that elm leaf beetles were sucking the juice out of the leaves and that I would have to spray them. Both trees are about 65 ft. high so spraying was impractical.
  Then I remembered that back in the 1930's people banded their elm trees with Tanglefoot brand sticky "gook". I bought some at a local garden nursery and applied it to the trees in late May. First I used a corn knife to rough up the bark so the beetles couldn't climb up between the strips of bark. The gook is a little thicker than ordinary grease. I used a putty knife to apply a 2 1/2-in. wide band all the way around the tree, about 5 ft. above the ground. The elm leaf beetle worms come out of the ground in early June, and as they climbed up the tree they get caught in the gook. The worms were so numerous that they covered the band with their dead bodies so I had to make a second application.
  That year the leaves survived all summer, and the next year when I repeated the process there were very few worms on the bands. The following year there were none. Now I re-apply the product every year. It's nice to be able to park my car under the trees without sap dripping onto the car. Now I realize the sap came from the beetles and not from the trees.
  I buy the product in a 5-lb. can for $20. It also comes as a paste-like grease in pressurized aerosol cans. However, I don't like the aerosol cans as it's too thin and runny and also more expensive. I've used it for four or five years and still have half of it left. (Elmer Pinkerton, 305 West "D" St., Elmwood, Neb. 68349 ph 402 994-5885)

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2000 - Volume #24, Issue #6