Box Elder trees may be more known for a bug called the box elder bug.  That is because most people have seen this annoying pest and don't really know where it comes from.  Well they know it comes from a box elder tree but probably have the faintest idea of what one looks like.  The box elder is in the same family of the ash tree.  Yes, the ash tree that will most likely be whipped out by the emerald ash borer. This tree is resistant to the emerald ash borer and does not have many fatal diseases.  It is a great choice to plant in your yard.  Well except for those bugs.
The box elder bugs do not do too much damage to the box elder tree.  not nearly enough to kill a healthy tree.  They feed on the leaves of the tree as do many of the other insects that harvest on the box elder. The box elder is effected by two varieties of leaf-rollers, aphids, galls, Asian beetles and many other insects.
The majority of box elders that die happen because of two factors.  One being heavy wind which is uncontrollable and the other being verticillium wilt.  Verticillium wilt is a root fungus that kills off sections of the tree by restricting nutrient flow to areas of the tree.  This disease can be treated if it is caught early enough.  It can and will kill a tree in as little as a month if a tree is severely stressed. Here are some things to look for in your Box Elder:

  • Sections loosing leaves in spring and summer seasons
  • Heavy infestation of insects
  • Holes in trunk
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Emerald Ash Borer, dutch elm disease, maple wilt, disease control, tree treatments
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Box elder
Emerald Ash Borer, dutch elm disease, maple wilt, disease control, tree treatments