Higher harmonic generation of ultrasonic waves has the potential to be used to detect precursors to macroscale damage of phenomenon like fatigue due to microstructural evolution contributing to nonlinear material behavior. Aluminum plates having various plastic zone sizes were plastically deformed to different levels. The fundamental shear horizontal mode was then generated in the plate samples via a magnetostrictive transducer. After propagating through the plastic zone the primary wave mode (SH0) and its third harmonic (sh0) were received by a second transducer. Results of a parallel numerical study using the S1-s2 Lamb mode pair, where sensitivity to changes in third order elastic constants were investigated, are described within the context of the experimental results. Specimens used within both studies are geometrically similar and have double edge notches for dog bone samples that introduce localized plastic deformation. Through both studies, the size of the plastic zone with respect to the propagation distance and damage intensity influence the higher harmonics.