Naturally Trees - Expert Arborcultural Planning, Advice and Care Since 1998

Sycamore Lace Bug - Plane Trees

by Andrew Scales | May 23, 2010
Sycamore Lace Bug - Plane Trees

What is damaging the leaves of my Plane Tree?

The Sycamore lace bug (SLB) is native to North America and a pest of Plane trees, otherwise known as Sycamore trees. This pest was introduced into NSW in 2006. SLB prefers to feed on plane trees (Platanus spp. especially Platanus occidentalis).  Infestation occurs largely within the Sydney basin, but is becoming more widespread.


Foliar damage resembles that seen by other lace bugs, including the common azalea lace bug, as it feeds on the undersides of leaves. Typical foliar damage caused by the Sycamore Lace Bug includes bronzing of the leaves, premature leaf drop and defoliation, which occurs later in the growing season when unaffected London Plane Trees would normally have a full canopy.

Such damage to plane trees in Sydney has increased by the stress caused by drought conditions. In North America, outbreaks often coincide with drier spring conditions and several consecutive years of heavy infestations may actually kill trees. This pest has become widespread, and is now a major nuisance, with ocupants of outdoor cafes and bars often being bothered by these bugs as they sit in the shade of local plane trees.


Adults are white in colour and about 3 mm long.


Preventative and curative control is possible with tree injection methods used by Naturally Trees. Injectable tree insecticide is the only trunk injectable insecticide available for use in Australia and is the most environmental and cost effective ways to achieve insect control in trees. 

Sycamore lace bug is related to aphids, cicadas and psyllids and is highly susceptible to tree injection methods.

Tree injection is locked within the tree and therefore has no environmental impact compared with other methods such as soil injection or canopy spraying.


If you require any further information please call Naturally Trees on 9970 6332 or 0417 250 420.

Sycamore lace bug and damage

    Sycamore lace bug damage and adult insect.