Over the weekend I chose to cut down a queen that had been growing with the arcing spear/ leaning palm syndrome for a few years now. I thought it was a Boron deficiency as I've read, but I never did any soil testing. I was chopping along and everything looked good until I had about 15" of trunk left off the ground- and then I found something. A brown ring, and it was rotten in the darkest part. I could push my finger into it.
One of my Dypsis pembana is a clump planted near an Aloidendron "Hercules". A while back the Aloidendron had quite a bit of black mold on it, not too unusual for me to get in the spring when marine layers persist along the coastline. When we finally got a nice clear dry and hot day, I decided to blast off the mold with the hose and a high pressure nozzle. Apparently some of that black mold washed into the crownshaft of the tallest and closest trunk of my clump of Dypsis pembana. I noticed the next emerging leaf appeared stunted, but I didn't do anything. Fast forward about 18 months and the last healthy leaf base came off in December exposing what was going on underneath. While there are new leaves and it is struggling to progress, its fate is sealed with the rotten constricted trunk. I think there are at least 4 other trunks growing right now in the clump, so I will only lose what used to be the tallest in the group. While Dypsis pembana is fast, the Aloidendron has exceeded the palms growth. Both were planted in late 2010, the Dypsis pembana from a 7 gallon and the Aloidendron from a 1 gallon.
My only dilemma is whether to take that trunk from the base, the top, or just wait for it to topple in some wind event. What would you do if it were in your garden?