Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Honey Locust Plant Bugs and Leaf Hoppers

Several Honey Locust trees here in Southern Ontario have been the target of small green bugs that have been distorting honey locust leaves and in some cases partially defoliating these trees.
 The main culprits have been the honey locust plant bug (Diaphnocoris Chlorionis) and leaf hoppers.


Honey Locust Plant Bug
(Diaphnocoris Chlorionis)

These bugs have sucking mouth parts that feed on the plants sap. This piercing and feeding causes leaf distortion and chlorsis. A light feeding will cause a yellow stippling of the leaves while a heavy feeding will kill the plant cells.

Both insects overwinter as eggs that hatch in the spring just as the buds are beginning to swell. Most of the damage occurs before the leaves are fully developed.

leaf damage to a honey locust tree

leaf damage to a honey locust tree

Treatment:
In most causes no treatment is required. A mature honey locust tree will usually be able to recover on its own (even a partially defoliated tree will begin putting on new foliage by mid-summer). To help reduce further stress to affected trees make sure they are well watered and fertilized.

Partial defoliation of a honey locust tree caused by honey locust plant bugs

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