Lethal Bronzing, previously called Texas Phoenix Palm Decline, is a relatively new bacterial disease (called a phytoplasma) that is causing significant palm losses in Florida. Symptoms are similar to lethal yellowing, but affect a much smaller number of palm species. The damaged vascular system of the palm leads to wilting, and eventually death. Affected species include Sabal (Cabbage), Queen, Pygmy Date and other Phoenix species, Christmas, Bismarck, Chinese Fan, Coconut and Carpentaria palms.
Older fronds die first and may be reddish-brown, dark-brown or grayish depending upon which species is affected, and stage of infection. Symptoms can sometimes be confused with nutrient deficiencies like potassium, or Fusarium wilt. Flower spikes may die prematurely, and fruit may drop off prematurely.
What Can You Do?
The disease is confirmed by laboratory analysis of tissues extracted from the trunk. Remove and dispose of infected symptomatic palms. Administer antibiotic injections to non-symptomatic susceptible species growing around removed palms. An Injection of oxytetracycline every 3 months is recommended. Once the palm spear leaf dies, the palm will die even if lower fronds are still green.
Call Well’s Termite & Pest Control TODAY to set up an injection program to protect your palms.
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