Something is Eating my Pheonix Robellini

MickeysmicJune 22, 2011

The other day I noticed a lot of drooping fronds and brown dead fronds on my Robellini's. Went out last night to trim them away and it was immediatly obvious something has been chewing, yes literally chewing, on the stem ends mainly at the top end near the base of new growth. Some frond stems were literally stripped more than a foot from the trunk. I first thought was my yard guys tried to trim them for me with a weed wacker they were so rough. Bugs do not touch these so I would guess is it a rodent, Racoon, Possum, HUGE rat or ??? We are in a typical neighborhood setting and been here four years and I have seen nothing like it !! Anybody have a clue what kind of critter I would be looking out for?? Wish I could post some photo's!!

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Hunter_M(Kentucky Z.6)

I dont know whats going on. But to post pics:
1.Get a photobucket account
2. Hit upload now
3. Find pic and upload it to photobucket
4. On the right of the pic on photobucket it should say HTML. Click it and it should say copied.
5. Right-click and hit paste on your message in your follow up. A long code with photobucket.com and a bunch of other stuff.
6. Hit preview and your pic should be there. Then hit post and your done.
Hope this helps! (A special thanks to Alex for telling me this)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 9:21PM
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islandbreeze

I'm not sure if you guys have deer there, but it sounds like deer damage to me. They chewed up one of my in-ground windmill palms a few weeks ago, and have a tendency to strip bark and leaves from plants. They don't just bite, they rip foliage and bark.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 2:24PM
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subtropix

Islandbreeze, are you sure it is the deer that are damaging you palms? I literally live in ground zero of a narrow, but heavy "deer crossing" area--regular herds passing through year-round. After four years here, I have learned what to plant and where to plant it to avoid deer. For whatever reason, I find deer largely avoid such tropicals/subtropicals as palms, bananas, bamboo, and a lot of the aroids (many of the latter are, in fact, toxic). I actually have many of the palms way in the back of the property where the deer are heaviest as it's on the edge of forest. If the palm has a decent trunk and is smooth, they will be vulnerable in the Fall buck rub (October-November), but not at this time of the year. All in all, I find palms quite deer resistant. I suspect its either slugs or insects (caterpillars?)

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 5:12PM
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islandbreeze

Yes, it's definitely deer. I found deer droppings right next to the palm. Michigan is pretty much infested with deer, an estimated 1 million I think. Where I live, there is no hunting, and it's actually an island with few predators, so the deer population here just keeps increasing with nowhere to spread out. A couple years ago, the government had to come in and thin out the herd to keep them from starving. Between the rabbits and deer, ANYTHING is fair game, with the only exceptions being juniper and ornamental grasses at maturity(not while coming up in the spring time, however). I always thought rhododendron were poisonous until I saw that the rabbits were eating them this past winter through the spring. Bamboo is eaten when it shoots, rose bushes are eaten, colorado blue spruce, mugo pine, yucca....the list goes on and on. It's me agains the deer HAHAHA.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 6:38AM
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bananatree94(6a MI)

thats pretty unfortunate for you islandbreeze, im in Michigan as well and i live at the edge of a large forest, we have deer, but they never touch anything i have, palms, bamboo, ferns, aroids or whatever, they dont eat anything. maybe because the forest is full of so many native plants they have no need? i think they sell deer repellant at some nurseries,

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 2:41AM
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