Bismark Palm problems

jerry10s4s(9bFL)January 4, 2006

I have a Bismark Palm that was transplanted about three months ago and had looked healthy until the last two weeks. Some of the fronds on the lower branches are turning brownish and dying. The tips of the upper branches(fronds) also look brown. The tree was quite large when transplanted, about 18 inches in diameter, and did extremely well until now. I live in southwest Florida in the Port Charlotte area. I would appreciate any advice on treating this condition

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It could be your palm is suffering from planting shock while it adjusts to it's new location. It may need a peroid of settling in. Keep it reasonably well watered during this time. There maybe something someone can suggest along the lines of nutrients as an insurance marker against loosing it.
I had similar things happen with my Brahea armata. After loosing about half of the lower fronds it settled in and is fine now.
BTW, 18" in diameter isn't very large. These palms have leaves 8' - 10 feet wide! You have along way to go before you see large.

Cheers, Barrie.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2006 at 4:32PM
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unautre(8B San Antonio TX)

I read in this forum that Bismarck palms are not good candidates for transplanting and root disturbances, with a fairly poor rate of survival.

I've learned to expect that almost every palm will show some or a lot of transplant shock (fronds dying), aka "sulking", starting anytime from a few days after the transplant until a few weeks later, and lasting from a couple months to a year or more.

It's easy to be fooled by the delay of the onset of shock/sulking symptoms into thinking the well-passed transplant was not the cause.

What's worse is there is little/no difference in symptoms of transplant shock (then revival) and of dying. The key to watch out far is the apical/meristematic spear, where any new frond growth and liveliness appears. If the meristem dies, the plant is dead.

18" diam is pretty hefty, which might explain why it has taken 3 months for any shock symptoms to appear. Sorta like the "living inertia" of such a large plant finally expired.

All you can do is keep it moist and well drained. Adding fertlizer after a transplant is generally not recommended until healthy growth reappears.

Stressed plants are weakened plants, and weakened plants are targets for insects and fungus, so anti-insecticide/fungal treatment could help.

btw, it may not help much, but removing the completely brown fronds might help you monitor conditions.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2006 at 4:53PM
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adamharbeck(WA Aust)

Sorry to say but I fear your going to lose your palm, the roots are very sensitive to disturbance. Ive been told that even just repotting this species can kill them.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2006 at 6:37PM
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Bismarkia is one species that needs to stay put once planted. Sorry to hear about yours.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2006 at 6:47PM
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If this was a transplant (moving it from one area of the garden to another) yes, expect some serious consequences. If this was transplanted from a nursery container into the ground, it should only suffer some set back. Repotting these won't kill them, otherwise why would nurseries even bother to carry them?

Cheers, Barrie.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2006 at 6:58PM
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Thanks for all your advice. I'll keep watering--not too much-- and hope for the best

    Bookmark   January 4, 2006 at 7:04PM
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I have a Bismark in place for about a year now. Very recently, I noticed a black patch on the meristem spear. It looks very much like it may have been burned by something. Anyone out there ever see something similar? Does it sound like I'm going to lose it?


    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 11:07AM
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Could be a fungus. I've had black areas appear on my Bismark but they haven't really hurt the tree. Check with a nursery to find out what fungus treatment you could use. I only fertilize my tree with palm fertilizer and it's doing fine.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 1:52PM
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Bismarck is a great palm for any yard. I think it is experiencing a transplant shock. give it some time. It will settle in a few weeks. Don't cut dying leaves because it will stress your Bismarck Palm even more. And don't fertilize it. It doesn't not need any more stress. Misting it with water will also help. Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bismarck Palm Tree

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 2:52PM
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i also have a new transplant with a fungus on one frone and seems to be spreading hopefully its only shock but what is the term "meristem" mean as i dont know alot about planting in general

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 8:30PM
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Our Bismark Silver Palm has grown very large in 10 years. Now it is "weeping" and has a bad rotting odor. It's been such a beautiful tree-we hate to lose it. Is there any treatment for this?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 3:35PM
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We just returned from a 2-week vacation to find one of our 2 10-year old Bismark Palms 'dying'. The first one is very healthy and looks fine. The second one has fronds that look like they are dried up, the trunk looks black, and there is an odor about the tree. Since they are impervious to bugs, are salt tolerant, and have been not been transplanted - what is happening? We don't want to lose this beauty - did you find a solution to your Bismark?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 8:08PM
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Try mixing up some copper and pouring into the crown. Wait and see if it helps. Cold or cool temps combined with water in the winter sometimes causes fungus in the crown.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 7:13AM
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