My 2 sago palms are very sick. Fronds have turned brown. The trunks have an orange spongy looking fuzz on them. The trunks have areas that appear rotten, especially the larger one, which also has a lot of ants on it. They are located at Atlantic Beach NC. They are at least 10 years old. What's wrong with them?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
If your sago palms' trunks are rotten, it may be impossible to save them. The best you can do is to cut the trunk below the rotten area, making sure the trunk below that doesn't look rotten, and apply a general-purpose plant fungicide to the cut area. There is a chance that something will grow back. The orange fuzz on the stem could be scale bugs, or it could potentially be pink rot, a fungal disease. Please see this article for more information:
You can also try to take a slice of the healthy portion of the stem and propagate it, as described here: