Texas Phoenix Palm Decline in Florida

Facts About the Texas Phoenix Palm Decline

Many of us have heard of lethal yellowing, the palm disease that swept through Miami-Dade County in the 1970s, destroying the majority of coconut palms in the area. But a new threat has started to take its toll on our beloved Florida icon, and many homeowners won’t notice the problem until it is too late.

The Texas Phoenix Palm Decline (TPPD) got its name because it was first discovered in the southern coastal region of Texas. It first made its appearance in Florida in late 2006 in the coastal areas of Central Florida. However, over the last two years it has reared its ugly head in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Texas Phoenix Palm Decline is s fatal, systemic disease that kills palms relative quickly. It is caused by a bacteria that is believed to be spread by insects that go from plant to plant looking for sap on which to feed. In Florida, the disease is threatening the Canary Island date palm, the wild date palm, the edible date palm and also the native Sabal palmetto. Researchers at the University of Florida’s Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center believe that the spread of the disease in Broward and Palm Beach counties is due to palms that were transplanted from counties where the disease is most prominent. How far and quickly it will spread is hard to predict, but because transplanting palms is a common occurrence in Florida, it is likely people will continue to unknowingly spread the disease by moving infected hosts.

The first obvious symptom of TPPD on mature plants is a premature drop of all or most fruits at one time. The fruit drop occurs over a few days, not spread out over a long period of time. Discoloration of the foliage is the next sign, beginning with the oldest leaves. The leaves do not turn yellow, rather they quickly turn varying shades of reddish brown, dark brown or gray, with discoloration beginning at the leaf tips. If a spear leaf, which is the palm’s youngest leaf, has died, then the time for intervention has passed and the tree should be removed to avoid additional spreading of the disease. Death of the spear leaf indicates that no new growth will occur and the remaining leaves will discolor from the oldest to the youngest. If symptoms are present, but the spear leaf has not died, there may be time for effective intervention.

Arborjet Trunk Injections, while not always successful in saving already-infected trees, do appear to help prevent TPPD. With Arborjet, a plug is drilled into the tree’s trunk to distribute the pesticide formulation via the tree’s own transport system. Treatment lasts well into the next season, with the tree soon growing right over the plug. The treatment is 100% harmless to the palm trees being treated.

All Florida Pest Control has a proven track record of using Arborjet Trunk Injections. In fact, we have been quite successful with it when addressing the Spiraling Whitefly infestation in South Florida. And now we want to help you protect your palm trees this season and for seasons to come. Fill out the form below for a free, no-obligation consultation and we’ll have you lounging under your palm trees in no time!

Free consultation and proposal for service