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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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Merlyn2220

I stopped by the dealership again and took a few more photos.  In ~33 days the Sylvester in the original post photos lost almost all of the rest of the leaves, and the "spear" is clearly visible and solid/unopened.  The two Sylvesters to the right appear healthy at the moment, but it doesn't look like they have any significant new spear growth.  It's hard to tell if they are growing normally or not.  I looked at the trunks and didn't see a sign of anything unusual like conks, weeping or any signs of fungus or rot.  They also had no visible lawnmower or weedwhacker damage.  This is the first photo below.

The other photo is of the other entrance to the dealership, with the now totally dead one in the center and two spearless Sylvesters to the left and right.  In the lower left foreground is a Pygmy Date that looks normal.  This is the second photo below.

The dealership now has cut down 3 Sylvesters and 2 more are clearly dead.  The other two in the 2nd photo are probably dead already, they just don't know it yet.  So probably 7 out of 9 original Sylvester palms are gone.  I didn't see a sign of nearby damage outside of the dealership.  However, about 1.5 miles away they installed a bunch of Dactylifera at the 417 entrance at Rinehart Rd.  There are two Dactys dying there in a somewhat similar manner, but it's not clear if the damage on those is related.

I also was near the Orlando airport a few days ago and there are a huge number of dead and dying Sylvesters on the entrance ramp from Southbound Semoran onto Westbound 528.  You can see 3 dead ones in this Google streetview from October 2018, they look a lot worse now but the city hasn't cut down any of them...  

https://www.google.com/maps/@28.4542675,-81.3106227,3a,75y,287h,84.07t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s_svo_FfGpBM2YKYeoPXyfQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

 

20190415_183555 cropped.jpg

20190415_183442 cropped.jpg

Edited by Merlyn2220

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aztropic

More dying phoenix in Phoenix,Arizona. 2 years ago,there were 10 palms lining the entrance to this shopping complex.Trees are over 40 years old.

 

aztropic

Mesa,Arizona

IMG_20190411_111427656.jpg

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Kris

Heavy trimming is the only reason,If those palms are left alone as in the wild,may be they could have survived...Here is a video fo how they trim and expose the soft tender part of the palm to air and humidity.

.

You can see very less green leaves after this hair cut !

 

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NOT A TA

Research paper came out in May after our discussion here in an American Phytopathological Society publication. I'm not willing to pay the $35.00 fee to download the PDF so I can read the whole thing but in the intro is the following;

"The findings of this survey resulted in the detection of LBD in eight new counties, including Collier, Hernando, Jefferson, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Seminole, and St. Johns, and expansion of LBD into four new host species, Cocos nucifera, Livistona chinensis, Butia capitata, and Carpentaria acuminata "

So now it's appearing from the Keys north and Coconuts being affected may have an even greater influence on the speed of dispersion of the disease and appearance of the landscape here in S FL since they're everywhere. Almost every residence has at least one where I live.

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palmsOrl

Coconuts are being affected?  Lethal yellowing part 2?  <hangs head>   Well at least I read that the effects of this disease tend to be sporadic rather than killing all susceptible palms in a given area.

Edited by palmsOrl
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Merlyn2220

Little Black Dresses are killing palms???  What???!111??11!!  :D 

I read a study at one point that showed Bismarcks being susceptible to the disease, but the description had a single palm affected.  I can only hope that the limited reports of Butia and Bismarckia being affected means that they are "highly resistant" to the phytoplasma.  Two of the authors of the above study wrote this summary:

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

 

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Merlyn2220

I drove past the Orlando airport today, they have one big CIDP on the Northbound circle road, just East of the main terminal building.  It's clearly 75% dead from LB.  The other in this pair is already cut down:

https://www.google.com/maps/@28.4386263,-81.3078524,3a,75y,51.91h,91.4t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sCI_k3DBLMj91PDcVEAZiLw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

About 50 yards away they just replanted 6 or so huge CIDPs.  I hope they got a really good deal on them, because they'll probably be dead in a couple of years.  Interestingly enough, there are no suffering Sabals, Livistona or others in the immediate area of that CIDP.  Here's the "old" planting of dying CIDPs, which were just replaced with new ones about the same size:

https://www.google.com/maps/@28.431149,-81.3050762,3a,75y,275.8h,89.42t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sVNX5xix97gqED1yYEY9RAQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

The closest infected trees I saw were along the right side of the entrance ramp from 436 Southbound onto 528 Westbound.  Last fall there were about 15 big Sylvesters, today I saw about 5 and 2 were clearly infected.  These were all inside the fence of a strip mall, they were all maintained by the same group:

https://www.google.com/maps/@28.4575793,-81.310762,3a,75y,91.25h,85.19t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sNZBj-kbteWUKOVAO9J4bUA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

The only other one in the area was a large dying Sabal that looked like LB, at the SW corner of 436 and N. Frontage Rd.  It's the one on the right in this Google Streetview.  It looked kinda unhappy in the October 2018 photo, and is now dead halfway up the crown.  It might be in the same strip mall management section

https://www.google.com/maps/@28.4602673,-81.3106945,3a,75y,139.33h,96.6t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s8ILNVmaTOe2jL4uQXkFa-w!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

What is the one common denominator in all of these deaths?  One single landscaping company is handling each cluster of deaths.  The assertion that it can't be transferred by pruning tools just seems ridiculous and goes against clear evidence of "clusters" of deaths right next to perfectly healthy palms.  How else can you explain >90% deaths in one strip mall while trees in the center median and across the street are 100% healthy?  The chances of a leafhopper infecting 20 palms on 1 side of the road and 0 on the other side is astronomical.  That would be like flipping a coin and getting 20 heads in a row...

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kinzyjr
5 hours ago, NOT A TA said:

Research paper came out in May after our discussion here in an American Phytopathological Society publication. I'm not willing to pay the $35.00 fee to download the PDF so I can read the whole thing but in the intro is the following;

"The findings of this survey resulted in the detection of LBD in eight new counties, including Collier, Hernando, Jefferson, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Seminole, and St. Johns, and expansion of LBD into four new host species, Cocos nucifera, Livistona chinensis, Butia capitata, and Carpentaria acuminata "

So now it's appearing from the Keys north and Coconuts being affected may have an even greater influence on the speed of dispersion of the disease and appearance of the landscape here in S FL since they're everywhere. Almost every residence has at least one where I live.

5 hours ago, Merlyn2220 said:

Little Black Dresses are killing palms???  What???!111??11!!  :D 

I read a study at one point that showed Bismarcks being susceptible to the disease, but the description had a single palm affected.  I can only hope that the limited reports of Butia and Bismarckia being affected means that they are "highly resistant" to the phytoplasma.  Two of the authors of the above study wrote this summary:

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

 

I have seen a lot of old Butia dying.  Livistona is actually the genus that is most often replacing the Phoenix genus here.  No rest for the weary.  Bismarckia would be a disaster since they are now using them to line interstate ramps in the region.

5 hours ago, palmsOrl said:

Coconuts are being affected?  Lethal yellowing part 2?  <hangs head>   Well at least I read that the effects of this disease tend to be sporadic rather than killing all susceptible palms in a given area.

Just when you thought we were out of the woods with 30 years of higher low temperatures :badday:

1 hour ago, Merlyn2220 said:

What is the one common denominator in all of these deaths?  One single landscaping company is handling each cluster of deaths.

Exactly why they are not welcome here.

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Merlyn2220

The only Pindos I've seen die are two at this location in Lake Mary.  There used to be 5 big ones in a row, this one got sick after the 2017-2018 hard freeze and finally died around May 2018.  I thought it was more likely to be cold and a beetle or some other disease.  The middle-to-upper fronds collapsed and died over the top of decent looking older ones and an ok looking spear.  This was on my local bike trail, so I saw it almost daily.  The homeowners let it just die and fall over and it's still there today, covered by weeds. 

20180421_142022.thumb.jpg.b319ae36093a6b6fba1caea0f6a37796.jpg

The remaining 4 in the row look big and healthy, but the tallest in the same lot (about 50 feet away) died in April 2019 the same way.  The middle fronds collapsed and died with decent looking spear and old leaves.  This seemed like the opposite of TPPD/LB, but it's the only Butia I've seen die around here.  Butia are really popular in that neighborhood, it must have been built right after the big freezes in the late 80s and everyone was paranoid about planting anything not super-cold-hardy.  I've not seen any indications of sickness in the 100 or so Butia in the immediate area, or in any other types around there.

20190413_110244.jpg.83897522da80fb307050222917c31755.jpg

Edited by Merlyn2220

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NOT A TA
9 hours ago, palmsOrl said:

Coconuts are being affected?  Lethal yellowing part 2?  <hangs head>   Well at least I read that the effects of this disease tend to be sporadic rather than killing all susceptible palms in a given area.

This phytoplasma is very similar to Lethal Yellowing and transmitted by the same insect vector. The specific plants affected in a given area might be due to their proximity when adults emerge, plant quantity, plant height, plant resistance, and insect preference.

The American Palm Cixiid (Myndus crudus Van Duzee) is the plant hopping culprit charged with the lethal yellowing epidemic as well as the current lethal bronzing issues. They require two hosts to complete their life cycle.  This is the simple version of a hoppers life. Larvae live on the ground on grass roots, leaf liter, etc. down to about 3cm and like it wet/moist. Adults emerge and fly up to palm trees for dinner and sex. When females are satisfied they drop to grass & lay eggs. Dining on more than one tree is where the problem arises.

It's been noted that the outbreaks seem to be in groups and there's some finger pointing at the landscape maintenance companies or departments who may be responsible but perhaps not the way we might think. While we might think that direct transmission of the bacteria on pruning tools would be the easy way to spread the disease it's not likely the ideal way. Ideally the plant hopper takes a bite (so to speak) of an infected palm and moves on to another. Which leads us to.....

If a plant hopper is dining on (lets say) the closest CIDP it could fly to when it emerged as an adult and there's suitable mates dining there also, why fly to another tree? Well an earthquake caused by a chainsaw trimming the lower fronds might do it. Ever tap a telephone pole and watch all the birds sitting on the wires scramble? If not, try it next time you see a large group of birds sitting on wires, doesn't take much of a tap. Anyway, between the noise and vibrations the plant hoppers probably take flight immediately to the next closest desirable host. They land and start dining on the new plant which previously didn't have the disease, but does now.....

Meanwhile entry level workers pick up the fronds that have dropped from the infected tree being trimmed. If any females were on the cut fronds ready to lay eggs they may have gotten knocked off as the frond landed or jumped off afterward. Some hoppers may not have hopped at all and remain on the frond while they are loaded onto a truck where they hitch a ride to the next trimming job and maybe jump off the truck there and look for a new tree to dine on.

Also as mentioned previously they like really moist grass areas to lay their eggs and grow larvae. Maintained properties with lawns where landscape companies work are usually fertilized and well watered if not over watered. I often see the irrigation systems running even though we've had daily rain for weeks. Always seems like a waste when it's pouring like mad and the irrigation is on at the same time. Here in S FL, St. Augustine grass in the most widely grown type of grass and just happens to be one of the Myndus crudus favorite hosts. The combination of lawn fertilizer and over watering creates a very good environment for laying eggs and larvae development. This may be another reason why we see palms on one side of the road all affected while palms on the other side of the road where there's no irrigation or grass do not get the disease.

In conclusion there are a lot of things involved in the life cycle of the insect vector, the plant hosts, and the disease. Many things can alter the cycle such as drought, temperature, availability of plant hosts, etc.  The reasons for the decline of lethal yellowing disease wasn't understood but perhaps it had to do with weather and the life cycle of the insect vector. There were some cold snaps during that time that may have really reduced the plant hopper population.

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hbernstein
7 hours ago, NOT A TA said:

there are a lot of things involved in the life cycle of the insect vector, the plant hosts, and the disease.

Good point. These things are usually much more than we first think.

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Merlyn2220
7 hours ago, NOT A TA said:

Meanwhile entry level workers pick up the fronds that have dropped from the infected tree being trimmed. If any females were on the cut fronds ready to lay eggs they may have gotten knocked off as the frond landed or jumped off afterward. Some hoppers may not have hopped at all and remain on the frond while they are loaded onto a truck where they hitch a ride to the next trimming job and maybe jump off the truck there and look for a new tree to dine on.

This may be another reason why we see palms on one side of the road all affected while palms on the other side of the road where there's no irrigation or grass do not get the disease.

The first comment above is a really good point, and may explain another "cluster" I randomly spotted in downtown Orlando.  I'm not convinced it is LB killing these and not something else, in hindsight I should have just added the photos here.  In short summary there are about 9 ~30' tall Phoenix Dactylifera at an office building called "Park North at Cheney Place."  4 are inside the courtyard and all recently over-pruned to take off the drooping fronds, 5 are on the street (Orange Ave.).  All are infected with something, though it's not clear from the visible symptoms if it's LB, Fusarium, or something else.  These are only 1-2 miles from Leu Gardens.  There's not a lot of grass in the area, it's mostly concrete sidewalks and a couple of planter beds with small shrubberies.  Some have a 2 level effect with a little path down the middle.  But I digress.  Here's the link to the palms:

This building is about 100 yards from I-4, and that area is notorious for traffic jams.  Assuming that this is actually LB, I can think of 4 possible ways the infection spread here:

  1. If there were infected bugs on a landscaper truck stuck in a traffic jam, it's certainly possible for them to fly off and find an egg-laying spot in the grass behind the building. 
  2. Maybe more likely than #1, the landscapers brought fronds from their last job and parked in the garage, where infected females hopped off and laid eggs nearby.
  3. Infected leafhoppers randomly flew from across I4 or from down the street and ended up randomly in the St. Augustine grass behind the building.
  4. Landscapers brought tools covered with infected phloem from their last job and used these to prune these 9 palms.

In cases 1-3 it would be extremely unlikely for all 9 palms to be infected at the exact same time.  Bahder's "test plot" shows that palms in an area appear to be infected randomly and/or sequentially, not all at once.  This makes sense from a fly perspective, since they pick a tree to fly into at random.  It's not like the flies hold a coordination meeting in the morning to make sure they bite all the trees.  Case #4 is the only one that makes logical sense in this particular location.  Supporting that is the fact that there are no other infected palms nearby, including quite a few Pygmy Dates and Sylvestris.

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NOT A TA

I followed the other thread and decided Megs suggestion of Fusarium wilt spread by pruning tools was probably correct. So I didn't post anything.

Fusarium wilt of CIDP is different than Fusarium wilt of Queen palm and pic of an infected Queen was used in that thread so I'll mention that they are two different fungus's here for general knowledge. Both are easily spread by pruning tools. Because the pruning tools themselves are different for a large CIDP vs a Pygmy Date (saw vs hand clippers) it's quite possible to have all of the CIDPs in an area affected while none of the pygmys are affected (or appear to be at the time). Fusarium being a fungus rather than a bacteria like Lethal bronzing has chlamydospores which stay alive/viable for long periods of time in plant tissue that might be on pruning tools. So the hypothesis of the CIDPs being infected by pruning tools at "park north" is quite plausible.

I'm sure Eric in Orlando is more knowledgeable than I am on these diseases since I'm a northern transplant and been out of the commercial side of ornamental horticulture for decades while he's currently active at the garden and has access to the latest bulletins etc.  Hopefully he'll chime in here again if he has updates he can share.

 

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Merlyn2220

I also thought Fusarium to begin with, because the canopy collapse was apparently fast enough that fronds remained green.  That doesn't seem typical of LB or LY symptoms, but I also didn't see any fronds with a clear 1-sided death to them. 

I suppose it could also be something like Thielaviopsis or Ganoderma that can cause sudden wilt and/or canopy drop.  I saw a row of Washingtonia Robusta on Wetherbee Road (SW of the airport) that were planted earlier this spring.  They looked fine until about a month ago, when >half of them got sudden wilt on most of their fronds.  The next week I drove past and several crowns were totally wilted and a few were leaning to the side.  The next week someone had come through with a chainsaw and chopped the tops off of 10-15 of them.

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NOT A TA

I really, really doubt it's Ganoderma zonatum. It's everywhere here in S FL and if it was able to infect healthy living tissue as easily as extension service bulletins would lead us to believe, palms would be dying at a far greater rate than all other palm diseases combined. I've been studying several types of decay fungus on palm & deciduous tree stumps in my yard. I cut down all the tall trees & palms in my yard over the past 5-6 years (to re landscape) and allowed the naturally occurring fungus growth to flourish because, well,  I'm weird and like to experiment with plant pathology stuff. If I kill a hundred, thousand, or all the plants I've grown, so be it. But I haven't even seen a hint of a problem of any decay fungus infecting a healthy plant.

I have a large Dypsis lutescens stump clump and a Cocos nucifera stump which both have active Ganoderma zonatum that's been there for several years. I haven't had any cases of Ganoderma zonatum show up infecting living palms in my yard or any of my adjoining neighbors. Between us we probably have 3000-4000 palms from seedlings to 40 years old. No palms in the area have had any unusual disease symptoms or death other than a couple penciling 30+ YO  Roystonea regia I attributed to other factors and they began penciling before I allowed the Ganodermas to grow anyway. Ganoderma zonatum grows on on almost every palm stump here so it's everywhere and my couple stumps isn't likely to be any different than the stumps in peoples yards everywhere here. I'm going to plant a palm in the center of the rotted trunk of the Cocos nucifera shown in the pic below while leaving the basidiocarps in place as an experiment. If Ganoderma zonatum can infect live tissue it will have an excellent opportunity to because the new palm will be planted in a place surrounded by basidiocarps, infected dead tissue, and loaded with basidiospores. If the spores grow creating hyphae then the palm should become infected if the Ganoderma can actually infect healthy live tissue.

I do believe there's a high likelyhood that Ganoderma zonatum affects dead tissue of palms that are in the process of dying from other causes. When this occurs it may appear that the Ganoderma is killing (or killed) the palm although something else was responsible. When Ganoderma is obviously active at the time someone notices decline or death due to the formation of a basidiocarp, it may get blamed for the death of the palm.

1st pic below is Cocos stump about a year ago and lower is a couple days ago. The center is decayed and hollow enough now to plant a palm in it.

20190310_184724_zpsiyfq6ski.jpg

20190819_153551_zpslrkmwkcc.jpg

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Merlyn2220

Not too far from the Mercedez dealership I found another tall Phoenix Sylvestris that appears to be dying from LB.  This one is planted in the entrance to the Ballantrae apartment complex and is roughly 3/4-1 mile directly West of the first batch.  It looked pretty good until recently, but seems to be "bronzing" lower fronds pretty fast.  Here's the Google streetview location:

https://www.google.com/maps/@28.7965029,-81.3541895,3a,75y,300.14h,98.98t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sU0Kld_homw4bpOot3_ygzQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

It was trimmed in the fall, probably right before the streetview was taken in Dec 2018.  I don't think it's been trimmed since then.  In the below photo from 8/23/19 you can see the row of fronds directly above the dead ones are already starting to turn lime green.  I'll check again in a few weeks to see if they are dying fast.

1497893240_20190823_134539cropped.thumb.jpg.42e978bef9c20f6746a6b06eb3192509.jpg

Headquarter Hyundai car dealership was just built this spring, about 1/2 mile down Rinehart Road from the Mercedez dealership.  They planted about 20 mature Phoenix Dactylifera that look okay so far.  Here's the unfinished location for reference:

https://www.google.com/maps/@28.7886277,-81.3471469,3a,75y,126.08h,92.25t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s1bgjU_1vAkGDkxB46wIVTA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

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