When you think of Florida you think of palm trees
New construction and renovation of existing landscapes increase demand for several varieties of palms. Many customers require “instant” landscapes and palm trees are often transplanted into the landscape. Because some of these palms are so large the cost of their initial installation and maintenance is high and losses are expensive. Landscape managers, and homeowners depend on GreenEdge Lawn & Ornamental Health Care. Our certified Arborists can consult on your project and with proper palm tree care we can keep your landscape healthy.
GreenEdge Lawn & Ornamental Health Care can properly maintain and fertilize your Palms and other landscape to help prevent diseases. Some palm diseases are deadly and threaten the survival of the infected/affected plant. Other diseases are cosmetic and if caught quickly never cause any long-term damage.
Common Palm Diseases in Florida
Lethal Yellowing: Most often observed on coconut and Christmas palms, but host range is much broader and includes Phoenix species. The disease is caused by a phytoplasma that is transmitted by a leaf hopper. Symptoms vary with the host species, but can include premature nut fall, flower necrosis, and oldest frond turns yellow, brown and hangs parallel to trunk.
Fusarium Wilt: Fusarium Wilt primarily occurs on Canary Island Date palm and, to lesser extent, on edible date palm. Disease is caused by a fungus which causes a wilt because it clogs the water-conducting tissue and the palm eventually dies.
Ganoderma butt rot of palms is the fungus Ganoderma zonatum. This disease degrades or rots the lower 4-5 feet of the trunk. It is not a root rot. All palms are considered hosts of this fungus. At this time, no palm is considered resistant to this disease. This fungus is not a pathogen of any other plant species.
Phytophthora Bud Rot: The primary cause of Phytophthora Bud Rot in the landscape is a disease that causes a terminal bud decay (heart rot), but initial symptoms are the discoloration of the spear leaf (youngest leaf). Spear leaf will rot and is easily removed. The fungus spreads by spores that may be splashed from plant to plant or by pruning tools. Resting spores that survive in the soil may also cause infections. Once the bud is affected, the palm cannot be saved. IF you catch the disease early, before the bud is affected, fungicides specific for Phytophthora may be used.
Thielaviopsis Bud or Trunk Rot: The cause is the fungus Thielaviopsis paradoxa. Symptoms observed depend on where the infection begins, as the fungus can invade the bud, spear leaf, or the trunk. The trunk can be invaded via mechanical damage or natural growth cracks. The fungus usually moves down the spear leaf to the bud, killing the bud. This results in the crown falling or breaking off. • Infection of the lower trunk, results in a trunk rot and stem bleeding. The stem bleeding is usually black and gummy. Infected areas are soft and sunken, turning black; eventually the trunk falls over at the point of greatest.
False Smut: This is a leaf spot disease of Phoenix species caused by the fungus Graphiola phoenicis. Disease looks like potassium (K) deficiency, but signs of fungus (i.e., the fungus itself) are obvious to naked eye. It is not a lethal disease, just unsightly.
Improper pruning can also lead to the death of palms through depletion of carbohydrates in the stem of the palm. As more and more leaves are removed the palm runs out of photosynthetic machinery to make its food, stored starch reserves are used up and the palm eventually dies.