Yellow Poplar Weevil

Yellow Poplar Weevil

Yellow Poplar, also known as Tulip Poplar, are some of the finest shade trees in our region due to their broad leaves and dense canopy coverage. However, this Spring, you might have observed some unusual holes in certain Poplar leaves, and perhaps spotted a few tiny beetles sporting mouthparts resembling elephant trunks. Introducing…the Yellow Poplar weevil.

What is a weevil you might ask?

Weevils are a type of small beetle belonging tot he Curculionidae family. They are known for their distinctive long snouts, which they use for feeding and laying eggs. Their mouthparts may look a little scary, but never fear- they are not harmful to humans.

The Yellow Poplar weevil is a type of weevil that specifically targets Poplar trees. They use that unique mouth of theirs to feed on the foliage and leave characteristic half-moon-shaped holes in the foliage. Many feeding holes can cause leaves to wilt, brown, or potentially die. Heavy damage can often look like a fungal issue or early season drought stress.

Usually going unnoticed or undetected, populations of the weevil are so high this year that some Poplars may even be dropping leaves. While this may appear alarming, this weevil usually isn’t to evil…(sorry, that pun was unavoidable) and only does minimal damage to established trees. If you suspect your Poplar has an abnormally high population of Yellow Poplar weevil, contact your arborist for further guidance.