need advice on trachy please

colabamaApril 5, 2007

my 4' trachycarpus fortunei has sent up 2 leaves that are strange.the middle part of the fronds are missing and brown.could this be mechanical damage from teenage boys playing too close with their balls? or is it drought related? i did notice an anthill close under the tree.any advice would be appreciated.thanks,marie

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and these new leaves are the only ones that look like this.thanks again

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 9:25PM
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john_trussville(z7b AL)

I wouldn't worry too much about it. The damage was most likely caused by cold temps when those tender new leaves were emerging as the center spear. This happens frequently on young trachies and sometimes even results in the spear rotting at the base & pulling completely out. The vast majority of the time though, a new center spear will emerge & the tree will continue to grow. I've experienced the damage that you're describing as well as entire spear pull, & I haven't lost a windmill yet. As your trachy gets older it will "harden" and you'll see less & less of this happening.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 11:38PM
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thanks for the advice i'll just wait.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 6:38AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The ant hill should be eliminated. If you are talking about fire ants, their underground nests can leave plant roots high and dry, causing serious problems and even plant death. They seem attracted to planting sites for nest building, not sure why.

I'd suggest using a fire ant BAIT, rather than some contact killer that will merely encourage them to move elsewhere. Amdro is one the most popular (for very good reason), as it is pretty much always effective at killing the entire colony with just one little sprinkling of the product. Shake a SMALL amount near the mound and you can watch the stuff disappear right before your eyes, as they come to take it below. Don't put on too much and don't disturb the nest. Both could make them pack their little bags and move.

I also hear excellent things about the organic ant baits containing Spinosad as the active ingredient. Several manufacturers are now putting out their own brand name Spinosad ant bait, look for one in the garden centers. This stuff works on the same principle and by the same method, only the active ingredient is a disease that will kill the ant when it feeds on the bait. Won't harm anything but the target insects, which in this case are ANTS.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 11:22AM
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thank you rhizo,i'll pick up some ant control this weekend.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 3:58PM
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the new leaves are looking very healthy now.thanks for your kind advice!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 12:38AM
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applepatch(z7 alabama)

I was told to put artificial sweetener on the ant beds and I thought that was toooo easy.But hey it worked.Now,if I see one starting,I get the sweet and low,and sprinkle it lightly around the bed.I can now pull up weeds without having to watchout for the buggers.Paulette

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 8:14PM
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what an intelligent idea applepatch.thanks!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 7:10AM
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just a note to say hi and to let everyone know that my little trachy is growing like crazy! thanks everyone to all that responded to my questions.happy gardening all!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 3:26PM
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