Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Queen Palms Becoming Royal Pain

I received another email from an HOA that is seeing evidence of their queen palms dying.  Since 2003, when it was first diagnosed, Central Florida has seen increasing cases of Fusarium wilt in Syagrus romanazoffiana,  Queen palms, and Washingtonia robusta, Mexican fan palm, also known as Washingtonia palm.  The fungal disease kills the palms very quickly. 

Do you think you have Fusarium wilt in your palms? Check these symptoms:
  • One-sided chlorosis.  The fronds will all be yellow or brown on one side.
  • Distinctive red or brown stripe on the stem of the frond.
  • If you cut the stem off, inside the stem is discolored especially to one side.
  • Disease appears on the lowest living fronds, moving upwards, with the youngest emerging frond last to die.
  • Palm dies within two to three months.
The disease has been diagnosed throughout the state of Florida spread by wind-blown spores but local communities can also see many palms affected through unsterile pruning equipment. There is no cure for Fusarium wilt and rapid removal of dying palms is recommended to prevent other palms from becoming affected. Queen or Washingtonia palms should not be replanted in the same locations. 

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