Help I think my Canary Date Palm is dying

ElizablueJune 18, 2014

I have four palms, three date palms and one Butia. One of the dates, the oldest is about 40 ft has suddenly had all the fronds turn brown and drooping completely from the top.

I just had a pool remodel back in September and had the concrete deck extended around the tree, but it was before and hadn't bothered the health. We've also had some freezing temps here recently and the fronds did in fact freeze. I honestly don't know what happened as I just noticed it today.

The other trees seem fine, well the other older one which is about 30 ft tall does have what seems to be excessive browning of the fronds as well, but there are still green ones in the top.

They are too tall for me to see what's going on in the top. It's too dark outside now to get a pic but I will tomorrow.

All thoughts are welcome. It looks like the pics of the palms that have contracted Fusarium wilt but I don't know for sure.

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ThatPlantN00B

It seems like not enough water or nutrients are getting to it, or the roots are being "suffocated " from the concrete so if possible try to remodel the pool again so it isn't under stress.

PlantN00b out

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 12:26PM
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Elizablue

Thanks ThatPlantNOOB but remodeling the pool was thousands. Not that I don't value my palm but there's no way I can just remodel the deck.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 4:18PM
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Elizablue

Here are pics of the trees before the remodel/freeze and after. I truly don't know which is the cause although there was ice on the fronds during the freeze so I can only imagine what happened to the crown.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 4:21PM
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Elizablue

Addl pics

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 4:27PM
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Elizablue

Now pic four months since the freeze and 9 months since the pool remodel. I'm leaning more toward the freeze because they were bright and green long after the remodel.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 4:29PM
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Elizablue

Underneath....there is still green

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 4:30PM
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Elizablue

More after

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 4:31PM
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Elizablue

Close up of crown

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 4:32PM
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ThatPlantN00B

This is a trick I use for my bonsai

Take a crafting knife and hit it hard a few times and if it's green inside it is still live

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 4:39PM
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ThatPlantN00B

This is a trick I use for my bonsai

Take a crafting knife and hit it hard a few times and if it's green inside it is still live

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 4:50PM
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stlpalmlover

The mound of soil around it is that covering trunk or roots if it's trunk push it away it could be suffocating it

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 9:09PM
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ThatPlantN00B

@stlpalmlover exactly the roots need room.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 12:11AM
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Elizablue

That's not soil that's the root ball, I've seen many Palms like this with the ball above ground.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 11:46AM
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Elizablue

Can anyone offer any other suggestions

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 9:27PM
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gregsytch(z9b Tampa Bay)

You do not say where you live. If there was freeze damage, these palms need it to go below 20F for some time to cause that kind of damage. It truly looks like wilt. There are remedies. I would Google Canary Island Date problems and follow the links for issues. It is a HUGE palm and a HUGE cost to get rid of.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 8:32PM
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Elizablue

Thank you gregsytch,

I live in Houston, TX and while we did have a few freeze days this past winter, I would think it would show in my other palms and in my neighbors. I did think it looked a lot like the pictures of Fusarium (sp) Wilt.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 6:58PM
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Elizablue

Thank you gregsytch,

I live in Houston, TX and while we did have a few freeze days this past winter, I would think it would show in my other palms and in my neighbors. I did think it looked a lot like the pictures of Fusarium (sp) Wilt.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 7:01PM
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gregsytch(z9b Tampa Bay)

Yes, it did not get nearly cold enough in Houston. Granted, it got cold, but this looks like wilt. Any luck on remedies? I believe there is some kind of antibiotic, but it must be applied constantly and by injection (I think). Keep us informed. Greg

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 8:32PM
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Elizablue

Gregsytch yes you are referring to Texas Phoenix Palm Decline (TPPD) it looks like the case with me and at least two of my neighbors palms.

I'm going to order it from online. I sent pics of my palms and they think that's what it is. I'm also going to bore out a sample and send the shavings to them for testing so that I know exactly what I'm dealing with.

If it is Fusarium Wilt not only is there nothing that can be done, the soil is contaminated and any new trees planted would die as will.

I'm hoping it's the TPPD and this antibiotic with save my trees. I will come back with an update.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 10:25PM
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Elizablue

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pp163

Management of TPPD includes protection of susceptible palms in disease-active areas by

â¢trunk injection with oxytetracycline HCl (OTC) every three to four months and

â¢planting palm species that are not known to contract this disease.

This premature fruit drop is exactly what happened to my palms about three months before the decline.

This is the site with the injection information.

http://www.palmtreesaver.com/

This post was edited by Elizablue on Fri, Jul 4, 14 at 22:32

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 10:29PM
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angellilly

Here we have plenty of Canary date palms dying the same way but its not TPPD..its the dreaded red Palm Weevil...awful creature but at least it leaves Washingtonias and Trachycarpus' unharmed which is a small mercy....im sorry for your tree Eliza,i hope you find a cure.... :-(

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 5:57PM
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Elizablue

angelillly Thank you I appreciate your comments. I'm waiting for the injections to come in. I'm also going to send samples to the Ag college so I will know exactly what it is.

Sorry to hear about your trees as well. I don't know which is worse an unseen bug or one you can see...I'm devastated over here.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 10:03AM
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Elizablue

Hi All,

So after sending off two samples of drilled shaving of both my large palms, here is what I got back from the Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory:

Diagnosis: Date Palm Lethal Decline (Phytoplasma)
Category: PHYTOPLASMA
Comments: LAB SUMMARY: Ref: Palm 2
PHYTOPLASMA DETECTION ASSAY

Sample tested POSITIVE for phytoplasma: Date Palm Lethal Decline.

*******************************
This sample tested positive for phytoplasma using previously described nested PCR methodologies. Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of PCR product results in band profiles consistent with previous reports indicating phytoplasma to be Date Palm Lethal Decline (syn. Texas Phoenix Palm Decline) phytoplasma (16SrIV-D).

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 1:49PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Has the spear leaf died? Death of the spear leaf indicates the apical meristem (bud) has died, so no new growth will occur.

Sorry for your loss.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 7:14PM
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Elizablue

Hi hoovb,

Thank you for responding. I suppose it has but the tree is too tall for me to see clearly. My Butia which is not as tall is showing the same symptoms. The dates came and fell in what seemed to be more than usual, then one night I actually dreamed about the spear falling off. I thought it was from me reading so much about dying palms.

Sure enough I went outside that morning and saw what looked like a large long yellow tail in the center of my Butia...a few days later it sectioned into parts and turned brown and fell to the ground.

Now this happened on my largest palm with just the dates falling in just really really large amounts so much so that we had be scoop them out of the pool for like a week. It was about a month later that all the fronds turned brown.

The Butia is so far still green.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 11:02AM
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