Palm Trees
Q.

Palm tree losing pieces of fronds

Zone 94087 | yagilh added on September 29, 2018 | Answered

I suspect a pest is attacking the leaves. The first photos shows the tree. The second shows the pieces covering the ground. The third shows what I suspect is the problem at base of the fallen pieces. Thanks.

A.
A.Answers to this queston: Add Answer
drtreelove
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on October 2, 2018

I remembered the wild parrots of Sunnyvale, and I now suspect that they did the damage. Have you seen parrots in your palm or nearby? Is your place near the localities mentioned in the following articles?

http://ricktrutna.com/?p=13

https://www.mercurynews.com/2016/01/13/san-jose-wild-parrots-making-themselves-at-home/

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drtreelove
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on October 2, 2018

I forwarded your inquiry and photos to Donald Hodel of the UC Extension in Los Angeles area. Don is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable palm experts in the world and I thought he would know if anyone would. But we are both stumped.
He asks for more information if possible:
He writes:
Hi Don,
I am also unfamiliar with this condition. I need more information:

1. Cultivation history: how often and how much irrigated; fertilizer?; pruning?; weed control around the base, if any, with what?
2. When did this condition begin?
3. Can close up photos of the canopy and leaves be made available?

Donald R. Hodel
Environmental Horticulture Advisor
Specializing in Palms, Trees, and Landscape Management
University of California Cooperative Extension
Alhambra, California

Don's PalmArbor E-Journal: http://ucanr.edu/sites/HodelPalmsTrees/PalmArbor/

Don's Palms and Trees Website: http://ucanr.edu/sites/HodelPalmsTrees/

Don's Website: http://celosangeles.ucanr.edu/Environmental_Horticulture/Donald_R_Hodel/

If this is important to you and you want to follow up, I will work with you on the diagnosis. You can try to photograph the crown of the palm and details with zoom lens, and provide the additional information. If you prefer, I can refer an associate arborist in the South Bay to inspect in person, and climb the tree if necessary. There would be a consultation fee involved. Not for me but for the on site arborist.
Please contact me directly: Don Cox [email protected]

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drtreelove
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on September 30, 2018

That's very unusual, I've never seen that type of damage in all my years working with palms.

I suspect rodent damage. Sunnyvale doesn't have cockatoos, but they can do some weird things like that.

I'm going to forward to a couple of arborist associates, palm experts and get back to you.

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