Palm Tree Problems

Palm Trees

liz added on January 16, 2011 | Answered

I have had several very large palm trees in my garden now for over 10 years but this week not only have they been shedding old dried leaves but the healthy green ones also. I have to look out of my bedroom window to see the top of them and it appears that all the leaves are limp and loose. Any ideas as I am seriously worried I am going to lose them. Thanks. Liz

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on January 16, 2011

There are two things that would cause this. One would be pest, typically scale, on palms. To look for pests, look for growths or dirt looking substances near the base of the fronds. Scale especially will not move but looks like just bumps on the leaves. If you find these, treat the tree immediately with an insecticide. I like neem oil myself as it is safe for people and pets.

The other possibility is something is attacking the roots, perhaps a root rot fungus or nematodes. This article will help you identify root rot:

But, if it is nematodes, you will need to have the soil assessed by your local extension service to confirm that they are the problem.

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