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Merlyn2220

Rapid Phoenix Sylvestris death in Sanford, FL. TPPD or something else?

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Merlyn2220

At a Mercedes dealership in Sanford, FL there are some rapidly dying Sylvester palms.  The palms have been there for several years, so it's not infant mortality on freshly transplanted palms.  The google images photo from July 2018 at one entrance shows a nearly dead one on the left side, two others on that side have already died and been removed.  The one in the google maps photo is now dead.  The middle one on the right side is now nearly dead, almost all the fronds are dessicated brown:

https://www.google.com/maps/@28.792688,-81.3418081,3a,75y,338.93h,89.21t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sosfzshTLPCa5r2fjntLD-w!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

At the West entrance to the dealership there are three more, and one is in the "middle stage" of dying.  I took a couple of photos yesterday, the lower fronds died over the past 2 months and the deaths started at the tips.  In the photos you can see the tips dead, and the fronds don't show signs of the 1-sided death typical of Fusarium.  In the detail photo it appears the youngest spear is dead and brown.  The second youngest is green but unusually light green, and hasn't opened.  Normally a Sylvester's spear would have started to open by the time it got to that height.

So is this TPPD in Sanford?  I didn't see any Ganoderma conks, but I was in a hurry and didn't check out the base of each palm.

20190311_185053 cropped.jpg

20190311_185117  cropped.jpg

20190311_185049 cropped.jpg

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kinzyjr
Zeeth

Yeah it's TPPD. 

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Eric in Orlando

That's awful.

 

 

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NOT A TA

It's a shame to see a company invest in nice landscaping and then lose the visual effect that was created. Wonder what they'll replace them with?

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Merlyn2220

I think the dealership's plan is to probably let them all slowly die, since they are leaving dead ones in the ground for a couple of months.  If they at least removed the dead and quickly dying ones, the live ones might have a small chance to not get infected.  It's a shame to see nice palms get destroyed so quickly. :( 

I drove past another place with a solid crop of dying Sylvesters, they had 2-3 queens on each side of the neighborhood entrance last summer.  I don't recall them all dying or looking sickly at any point last year.  But they removed 11 mostly mature queens and planted 8 Sylvesters, all of which are now dying.  I'll try to snap a couple of photos, here's what it looked like in July 2018:

https://www.google.com/maps/@28.3663992,-81.3940832,3a,75y,193.53h,87.76t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sLBXrzLa-DSGwB2jK_ubQLg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com/maps/@28.366939,-81.399422,3a,75y,191.46h,79.95t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sd_0-xlKk-KA7DTvjnsl09g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

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kinzyjr
7 hours ago, NOT A TA said:

It's a shame to see a company invest in nice landscaping and then lose the visual effect that was created. Wonder what they'll replace them with?

In our area, ribbon palms (Livistona decipiens) have replaced the Phoenix dactylifera, canariensis, and sylvestris palms that are dying at a lot of locations.  Of the most notable, the Lakeland Yacht Club replaced the gigantic CIDPs that used to be outfront with ribbon palms.  The CIDPs contracted the disease a few years ago and were on the way out regardless of the new construction.  In the medians at the exit ramps for the interchange between the Polk Parkway and Lakeland Highlands, they use them as well.

Apparently, Tampa is following suit: https://www.tampabay.com/news/localgovernment/hillsborough-ground-zero-for-disease-killing-palms-across-region/2277616

It's a shame.  One of the reasons I moved here was all of the date palms lining the streets.

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Keith in SoJax

Let me say, they are a ——- to remove!  We’ve had to grub two dead sylvestris out and it’s no picnic.  The sabals that have died here are smaller and werent as hard to remove.  We now have a Livistona strong palm scape coming along.  Thankfully i love ribbon palms, they grow fast, and they are relatively cheap.  But still this plague is horrible.  

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Merlyn2220

I definitely like the big Livistonas, but I'm not a big fan of the ribbon.  The droopy fingertips just look kinda creepy to me.  :)  But I do have Chinensis, Speciosa and Jenkinsiana growing!

I have 3 Sylvesters, 1 Canary, 3 Reclinata and 1 indeterminate something-or-other, it would really suck to lose them all.  I really hope that the Arengas, Allagopteras, Beccariophoenix and Butias are not susceptible to TPPD!

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kinzyjr
1 minute ago, Merlyn2220 said:

I definitely like the big Livistonas, but I'm not a big fan of the ribbon.  The droopy fingertips just look kinda creepy to me.  :)  But I do have Chinensis, Speciosa and Jenkinsiana growing!

I have 3 Sylvesters, 1 Canary, 3 Reclinata and 1 indeterminate something-or-other, it would really suck to lose them all.  I really hope that the Arengas, Allagopteras, Beccariophoenix and Butias are not susceptible to TPPD!

I have 4 phoenix dactylifera lining my driveway, 10 phoenix theophrasti in the ground, a baby CIDP, 2 baby reclinatas, and a few sabals around.  If it hits here, I'll have a lot of wide open spaces for other stuff.  One thing that compounds the mess in public plantings is landscapers that do not sterilize equipment.  Hence, none are allowed on my property.

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pj_orlando_z9b

Seeing this across Orlando too. Some of the Phoenix palms are on their 3rd and 4th try in the same spot. I wonder though the role in proper maintenance too...how many of these commercial palms receive proper fertilization and safe pruning practices?

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kinzyjr

@pj_orlando_z9b

Sad that we are seeing this across the I-4 corridor and the state, but it is a reality we all have to deal with now.

Some of the Phoenix palms are on their 3rd and 4th try in the same spot.

Using palms resistant to the disease is one thing our city government has done right.  Hopefully, more localities will accept reality and move forward with a better beautification plan.

how many of these commercial palms receive proper fertilization and safe pruning practices?

If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on none or very few, especially in the area of safe pruning.

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Mandrew968

It's called lethal bronzing now-a phytoplasm like lethal yellowing. Apparently some state complained about the original name...

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Merlyn2220

The depressing part about TPPD / lethal bronzing is that apparently they've confirmed it in deaths of Bismarck,  Adonidia, Queen and Livistona Chinensis too!  I hope the Bismarck and Livistona are "resistant" to TPPD in the same way that some coconuts are resistant to LY infection.  Otherwise I'll be spending a lot of $$ on oxytetracycline! 

I also read on a website for Palmsaver that "Phytoplasma diseases in palms cannot be spread by pruning tools or other equipment!"  :floor:

Edited by Merlyn2220

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NOT A TA

UF IFAS Extension document on Lethal Browning shows Palm Beach County where I am as being infected now. Like other articles, insect vectors are noted as the means of dispersal and no mention of pruning tools. Cases like the car dealer do make it appear that pruning tools may also spread the disease. I've never seen any of the city or county maintenance crews disinfect pruning tools. They could spread the disease quickly around large areas. 

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kinzyjr

To piggy-back on the comments from @Merlyn2220 + @NOT A TA, I live in an area where road median plantings have been wiped out by this TPPD/Lethal Bronzing.  Of the palms in my collection, more than 20 are susceptible to phytoplasma diseases and are growing in an area of less than an acre.  These include:

  • 4 x cocos nucifera (various levels of resistance to Lethal yellowing, 2 Jamaican Talls = 98% susceptibility last I checked)
  • 4 x Phoenix dactylifera (TPPD/Lethal bronzing)
  • 10 x Phoenix theophrasti (TPPD/Lethal bronzing)
  • 2 x Sabal palmetto (TPPD/Lethal bronzing)
  • 1 x Bismarckia nobilis (TPPD/Lethal bronzing)

These are just the palms in the ground.  I can't even give you an accurate count of the palms in the containers at this point.  I've been growing in the same location for 9 years and haven't had a single fatality due to any of these diseases.  I sterilize my cutting equipment between each palm when I am trimming them, even if I am only cutting dead material.  

The city has lost almost every CIDP and phoenix dactylifera under their care.  We haven't even talked about all of the Queen palm deaths.  It is improbable that the same insects attacking date palms on US-98, South Florida Ave., Tigertown, etc. are not also visiting other properties, including mine, when the food runs out or dies off.  I personally believe that a disease spread by sucking insects would also be spread by pruning tools, especially in instances where over-pruning is done and the live material from an infected palm touches an open wound on an uninfected specimen.

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Eric in Orlando

FNGLA has just released this;

 


Lethal Bronzing aka Texas Phoenix Palm Decline
FACT SHEET
March 19, 2019


1. What is Lethal Bronzing formerly known as Texas Phoenix Palm Decline?
Lethal Bronzing (LB) was formerly known as Texas Phoenix Palm Decline. As with lethal yellowing (LY), Lethal Bronzing is a fatal and systemic palm disease caused by a bacterium (16SrIV-D phytoplasma) which can kill certain palms quickly.
The causing phytoplasma is likely transmitted by sap-feeding insects such as planthoppers. LB can also be spread through movement of infected palms.


2. When was LB discovered and how did it find its way to Florida?
LB was first reported in Phoenix spp. of palm in Texas in 1980 (McCoy et al. 1980) and then confirmed in Texas in 2002. Four years later, LB was reported on the western coast of Florida (Sarasota to Tampa) affecting Phoenix (date) species.
In early 2008, LB was confirmed as the cause of declining cabbage palms (Sabal palmetto) in Hillsborough and Manatee counties. Subsequently, LB has been found throughout many of Florida’s central and southern counties and there is sporadic occurrence in the northern portion of Florida (Harrison and Elliott 2016).
There is no solid scientific evidence to date demonstrating the mechanism by which LB found its way to Florida.


3. How is LB spread?
LB is spread by an insect vector believed to be highly mobile. In general, vector insects, infected palm trees and movement of phytoplasma-carrying vector insects on their alternative grass hosts are believed to be the avenues through which the LB phytoplasma is dispersed.


4. Has scientific research definitively identified the vector?
To date, there is no definitive identification or confirmation of the vector.

5. Which palms are susceptible to the disease? Are any palms more susceptible than others?
The LB phytoplasma seems to have a wider range of host palms than lethal yellowing (LY). To
date, LB phytoplasma has been reported in:
Bismarck Palm (Bismarckia nobilis) Edible Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera)
Cabbage Palm (Sabal palmetto) Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebelinii)
Canary Island Date Palm (Phoenix canariensis) Queen Palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana)
Carpentaria Palm (Carpentaria acuminata) Senegal Date Palm (Phoenix reclinata)
Christmas Palm (Adonidia merrillii) Wild Date Palm (Phoenix sylvestris)
At this time, it appears P. canariensis, P. dactylifera, P. sylvestris and S. palmetto are more
susceptible than the other palms.


6. Which states are confirmed to have Lethal Bronzing?
Texas, Florida, Louisiana are the states in which LB is confirmed.


7. In which Florida counties is LB confirmed? Are these confirmations found primarily in
landscape settings or in production nurseries?

At this time, FDACS-DPI confirms LB is found in the following counties:
Alachua Highlands Lake Polk
Desoto Hillsborough Manatee Sarasota
Duval Indian River Orange Volusia
Hardee
Palm samples submitted to the University of Florida Diagnostics Center in Gainesville are
primarily from palms in landscape settings – not production nurseries.


8. Are there any federal or interstate LB-related quarantines, special phytosanitary certificates or
permit requirements governing palm shipments from Florida?

Yes. Texas and Louisiana have restrictions on shipping LB-host palms to those states.


9. Are there any special LB-related regulations governing the movement of palms within Florida?
Not at this time. In the event a nursery is quarantined for LB, movement of palms from such
nursery is then restricted. If the nursery has a specific location under quarantine, then only the
LB-host palms in the affected location are quarantined with restrictions on their movement.

10. When, how and how often are Florida palm nurseries inspected for LB?
Nurseries which are known exporters of host palms are inspected as required by the destination
requirements. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant
Industry inspectors (FDACS-DPI) check for LB any time they inspect a nursery with host palms.


11. How many Florida palm nurseries are confirmed to have LB?
No Florida nurseries are quarantined for the presence of LB at this time.


12. What steps can be taken to treat LB-host palms or mitigate or prevent its spread?
To date, the only recommendations for alleviating spread are the removal of infected trees and
preventative injections of Oxytetracycline (OTC). The latter recommendation is based on the
assumption LB responds the same to OTC as does Lethal Yellowing disease (LY). (For additional
information, please read #17 below).


13. If there is no LB or vector in the immediate area, can the disease still be spread from one palm
to another? If so, how?

No. Insect transmission is the only method by which phytoplasmas are transmitted. If the
insect vector is not present, no spread will occur.


14. Given LB is not visually symptomatic during its early stages, how long does it take for an
infection to become visibly apparent?

It is highly variable depending on a palm’s growth conditions, stress factors and other
environmental conditions. Nonetheless, LB is believed to take two to five months from
inoculation to visible symptom development. A period of gradual decline followed by complete
inhibition of growth often occurs about one month before the end of the symptomless phase.


15. Once a LB-infected palm becomes visibly symptomatic, how long will it take before it dies?
Death of a palm infected with LB phytoplasma generally occurs within months of the onset of
symptoms. To date, there is no solid data which can estimate how long it takes before an LBdiseased
palm dies. Once infected, a palm declines quickly although the rate of decline is
dependent on a palm’s growth conditions, stress factors and other environmental conditions.


16. How reliable are molecular diagnostic tests in determining LB infections?
The current molecular diagnostic tests are very reliable and very specific with respect to
different strains which cause either LB or LY. Yet, false negatives are possible early in an
infection because the pathogen may not be distributed equally across the host tissue. However,
false negatives can be reduced if proper protocols are followed.

If LB symptoms are visibly present, false negatives can only occur due to human error in
sampling or handling. Other diseases and abiotic conditions can cause dieback, yet a negative
diagnosis for LB will be a true negative in such a case.


17. With LB-host palms, are OTC inoculations useful tools in production nurseries and/or
landscape settings?

If a palm is already infected with LB phytoplasma, scientists do not believe OTC applications are
useful to stop a palm from declining. Yet, based on the assumption LB responds the same to
OTC as does LY, then properly executed OTC injections into palm trunks may be useful
preventatives. No special license is needed or required to inoculate palms with OTC. Additional
research needs to be conducted to further evaluate OTC applications and their frequency in LB
control.


FNGLA thanks the following scientists for contributing their expertise and reviewing this Fact Sheet:


Brian Bahder, Ph. D. Assistant Professor, Vectors and Disease, University of Florida Institute of
Food and Agricultural Sciences, Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Carrie Lapaire Harmon, Ph. D. Extension Plant Pathologist, University of Florida Institute of Food
and Agricultural Sciences, Gainesville, FL.
Greg Hodges, Ph.D. Assistant Director, Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of
Agriculture and Consumer Services, Gainesville, FL.
Leroy Whilby, Ph. D. Bureau Chief - Entomology, Nematology and Plant Pathology, Division of
Plant Industry, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Gainesville, FL.

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aztropic

I think we may have this disease in the Phoenix, AZ metro area too as a lot of Phoenix "dactylifera" especially, have been experiencing noticeably quick deaths after many years without a problem.

 

aztropic

Mesa,Arizona

20180821_150853.jpg

Edited by aztropic

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Sabal_Louisiana

Just wondering, if the disease is spread by insects,

Does leaving dead/dying palms in place for a while instead of hasty removal, make the spread of the bugs worse?

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NOT A TA
40 minutes ago, Sabal_Louisiana said:

Just wondering, if the disease is spread by insects,

Does leaving dead/dying palms in place for a while instead of hasty removal, make the spread of the bugs worse?

That would probably depend on whether the particular insects transmitting the disease (if in fact that's how it's spread) use the palm as part of their life cycle as a host for eggs/larvae. See #3 #4 above post by Eric. Or if there are other methods the phytoplasma might be spread by. Since there's no positive identification of particular insect vectors or if they are the only means of spreading the phytoplasma it would probably be a wise move to dispose of dead/dying victims quickly. In line with that precautionary thinking I'd recommend they be disposed of in a manner where potential spread would be minimized such as incinerator or landfill vs being chipped into mulch by a city that would then use the mulch all around town. 

Edited by NOT A TA

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Merlyn2220

I'd say definitely!  If it's infected then every bug that eats from it can potentially spread the infection to a nearby palm.   Removing the visibly infected and dying palm is a quick way to make sure that no additional bugs feed on it.  Leaving it right next to uninfected palms seems like a great way to ensure the disease's spread.

I question anyone who says that it can't be spread by pruning tools.  We have no clear idea how much phytoplasma cells are required to infect a palm.  It may be as little as 1 cell, which would be easy to transmit from palm to palm after cutting stems off of an infected palm.  @kinzyjr I follow your rules on cleaning and pruning, and the only time any outside tree or yard service has been on my lot has been when I've been removing 30+ dying water oaks.

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NOT A TA

Phytoplasma are bacterial parasites with no cell wall. They can not only survive but probably replicate within the critters like Leafhoppers (or other sap suckers) while riding along to a new plant victim. There are few certainties so far concerning spread with this disease. So what insects are involved etc. has not been verified yet.

Tool cleaning as a proactive measure can't hurt.

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