Asked on Aug 25, 2017

What is wrong with my elm tree?

by Anita
In the summer of 2016 in PA cicadas reappeared in swarms after 17 years. I hated them. I barely went outside the entire month of June. Everytime I ran a week wacker they were all over me, and they found a place to hibernate in my car. It was unnerving. Suddenly this summer my elm tree in the back yard has this white fleecy snow looking stuff all over it and undernea th was a reddish gel like substance. Eventually it disappeared but I fear my tree has weakened from the cicadas and is doomed. Does anyone have any idea what this is?
q what is wrong with my elm tree
  20 answers
  • Suzette Suzette on Aug 25, 2017

    Good luck!

    • See 2 previous
    • GD Barney GD Barney on Aug 26, 2017
      Believe that is beech tree, sweeping Midwest, no cure.

  • Sharon Sharon on Aug 25, 2017
    Looks like either a fungus or possible wooly aphids or a adelgidae. I would scrape some of that into a ziplock baggie and take it to a nursery.

    I would get it treated ASAP as Elms are prone to many diseases that kill the tree and infest all the others around it.

    I've never seen this from cicadas.

  • Dee Dee on Aug 26, 2017
    wooly adelphi you need to spray it with something that will kill aphids

  • Russell Palmer Russell Palmer on Aug 26, 2017
    It could be the wooly aphids, or possibly tree worms. Shey come in and make webs, then populate the webs with eggs to hatch. I don't think the Cicadas had anything to do with it.

    Aphids actually do help a lot of times, as they kill other insects.

    • See 2 previous
    • Russell Palmer Russell Palmer on Aug 26, 2017
      I was thinking of the ants that milk the aphids and kill insects to protect them.

  • Sherry Call Sherry Call on Aug 26, 2017
    Contact your county agriculture extension service. They have experts available for free! This is a service provided in every state in the union.

  • Joan Arens Joan Arens on Aug 26, 2017
    I absolutely hate Aphids I hope you can kill them cause they hard to get rid of.

  • Melissa V Melissa V on Aug 26, 2017
    Sorry Russell, but I have never heard of any aphid being good for anything.

    Yet, I know, somehow flies, mosquitos and all the other buggers are here for some purpose. I have a spider in my hanging plant by my side door that I greet when I pour the dirty dog water in the plant cuz he helps with the flies near the trash can.

    But not a spidey in my bedroom... 🕷😲

  • Anita Anita on Aug 26, 2017
    Thank you everyone. Yes, I believe it is a Woolly Aphid. Wish I had gotton on this site sooner as now they are gone and I fear inside the tree bark. The tree, especially the bottom leaves have browned. I thought the cicadas might have weakened the tree causing it to be more prone to something like this. I hope my tree survives. If it does I will try to get rid of this awful stuff.

  • Mercedesciero Mercedesciero on Aug 26, 2017
    There is a product from Bayer Advanced that works systemically for 12 months on trees and shrubs protecting them from insect damage. This product got rid of aphids on my magnolias and various bushes in my yard. It also protected my Rose of Sharon shrubs from Japanese beetles. I highly recommend it.

  • Susan Arbogast Cogan Susan Arbogast Cogan on Aug 26, 2017
    we use beetle traps

  • Jan Lorraine Hoyle Jan Lorraine Hoyle on Aug 26, 2017
    Disgusting! When I was a kid my dad had to destroy all of our trees because of Dutch elm disease. I lost all of my trees & my shade :(. I woul say you have aphids & t
    it needs to be treated immediately. You can use Safer soap for non toxic removal.

  • Karen Karen on Aug 27, 2017
    Every picture resembling yours says Wooly aphids - they are interesting - the fuzz is actually wax which is a protectant for the bugs - anyway....they have TO GO!

    If desired, you can spot treat where the aphids are most abundant using insecticidal soap or neem oil. You can also prune out and destroy infested branches when feasible. When chemical control is deemed necessary, woolly aphid insecticide such as acephate (Orthene) can be used to control these pests.Apr 1, 2015

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Aug 27, 2017
    Any area that you may need to cut away you'll have to sterilize your blades after EACH cut. Use alcohol to wipe down your blades and make sure to securely bag the debris so as to not infect other foliage.

  • Fordj Fordj on Aug 27, 2017
    I would recommend contacting you local county extension

  • 19628357297 19628357297 on Aug 28, 2017
    Yes use Bayer Advance for trees and shrubs to prevent this but you need to get a bottle sprayer that goes on the end of your water hose and set it really strong so they don't move to something else. Spray it with Malathion . spray it on a day as soon as possible when the wind is not blowing .good luck save that tree.:-)

  • J. Wimm J. Wimm on Aug 28, 2017
    Suggestion.....get a "root feeder".......they have inseciicide tablets that you shoot into the roots and that should get them from inside and outside......also have fertilizer tablets that you can use to invigorate the tree......seen professional use this technique......give it a try!!

  • Janice Hampton Mercer Janice Hampton Mercer on Aug 30, 2017
    Contact the DNR in your state and they can tell you exactly what it is and if there is a cure. I did that with my elm tree and it is fine.

  • Marnidarr Marnidarr on Sep 17, 2017
    They look like Wooly Aphids and the best solution is pretty darn cheap. Power blast them out with water from a hose. Once knocked out of the tree they can't get back up. Avoid chemicals! Overall they do more harm than good. Good luck!