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Walt

The Life And Sad Ending Of My Adonidia Palm

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Walt

 

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PalmatierMeg

RIP Adonidia. Walt, so sorry to hear of its passing. What a great learning video and tribute you compiled for it. I hope it inspires and teaches other palm lovers who are zone pushing.

That Cereus Peruvians spiralis looks fantastic.

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Scott W

Impressive work protecting it all those years!  I wouldn't have thought being that far south you'd be worried about freezes.

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PalmatierMeg

Central FL is significantly colder than the coasts. Cold fronts can plunge down from the Arctic and not be stopped or modified by mountains or bodies of water.

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Scott W
5 minutes ago, PalmatierMeg said:

Central FL is significantly colder than the coasts. Cold fronts can plunge down from the Arctic and not be stopped or modified by mountains or bodies of water.

Having lived in Jacksonville since 1995, when I hear Central Florida I always think the Orlando area, so yeah, hence my misguided belief apparently.

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ruskinPalms

Walt, I’m not sure what it is for sure that took yours out but I have lost a few the same way this spring and have a couple survivors in the same clump that are fine as well. Many in the neighborhood have gone the same way with maybe one or two palms in the clump dying with the others left looking flawless. I don’t think it went below 36F or 37F at my house this winter but it was cooler overall so maybe weaker specimens became susceptible to fungal infections and bit the dust. My coconut that sailed through 27F with minimal damage in Jan 2018 seems to be heading the same way but i haven’t given up totally on it yet… nothing else took any damage in my yard this year so I don’t think it is outright cold or frost. My first suspicion was lethal bronzing which is rampant in my area but who knows?

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kinzyjr

Sorry to hear @Walt.  I agree it wasn't the winter we had that took it down.  I put 10 seedlings out in the ground this year just to see what would happen and they didn't even get cold spotting.

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Walt
7 hours ago, Scott W said:

Impressive work protecting it all those years!  I wouldn't have thought being that far south you'd be worried about freezes.

The lowest temperature officially recorded in Highlands County, Florida, (the county I live in) is 13 degrees F. It was recorded at Archbold Biological Station (ABS) located about 8 miles south of the town of Lake Placid.  This low happened on two occasions, the last time being on January 5, 2001, that's when I recorded 22 degrees F. I'm in a cold spot but ABS is in the coldest spot.  

Virtually all of the coldest freezes here are radiational (no wind and clear sky), not advective (windy blowing in from the northwest). The coldest advective freeze I've had was in January of 2003 when my low was just over 29 degrees F. All my killer freezes are radiational. As such, if you live next to a large lake or on high ground (Lake Wales Ridge) it is far warmer either due to the thermal effect of the lakes or the warmer air (that rises up) at higher elevations.

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Walt
3 hours ago, ruskinPalms said:

Walt, I’m not sure what it is for sure that took yours out but I have lost a few the same way this spring and have a couple survivors in the same clump that are fine as well. Many in the neighborhood have gone the same way with maybe one or two palms in the clump dying with the others left looking flawless. I don’t think it went below 36F or 37F at my house this winter but it was cooler overall so maybe weaker specimens became susceptible to fungal infections and bit the dust. My coconut that sailed through 27F with minimal damage in Jan 2018 seems to be heading the same way but i haven’t given up totally on it yet… nothing else took any damage in my yard this year so I don’t think it is outright cold or frost. My first suspicion was lethal bronzing which is rampant in my area but who knows?

Borers with some kind a fungus took my adonida out. I hadn't protected my adonidia for the past 5-6 years since I've enjoyed zone 10a winters during that time.

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Walt
2 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

Sorry to hear @Walt.  I agree it wasn't the winter we had that took it down.  I put 10 seedlings out in the ground this year just to see what would happen and they didn't even get cold spotting.

I've had boring insects (ambrosia beetle that killed my bay trees, and southern pine beetles that killed my slash pines). I don't know what kind of borer insect bored into my adonidia which extracted large amount of saw dust and long tubes coming out of the bore holes. Never, ever saw anything like it on any of my palms in the 23 years growing them.

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Walt
6 hours ago, PalmatierMeg said:

Central FL is significantly colder than the coasts. Cold fronts can plunge down from the Arctic and not be stopped or modified by mountains or bodies of water.

Inland Florida at any given latitude is colder at night than near the coasts due to the thermal effect of the water, although as the winter progresses that advantage declines somewhat due to the water cooling down. That being said, and I'm talking empirically now,  if one lives on a large lake, they get a similar thermal advantage as near the coast. Further, on the highest ground it is always warmer at night. I monitor overnight lows from the Lake Placid Elementary School's STEM weather station. Their station generally runs on an average 8-10 degrees warmer than at my place (3 miles away to the N.E., and on lower ground) on the coldest nights of the year, which are always radiational cooling nights. 

I've related this story before, but before my wife retired we would talk on our cell phones as she drove to work. We live about 2 miles east of US 27, and down off the Lake Wales Ridge. US 27 is on the Lake Wales Ridge.  On morning my wife pulled out of our driveway and her car thermometer read 31 degrees.  She started driving up the long hill to get to US 27. As she got to the top of the hill her thermometer read 39 degrees! This was before the sun came up, and only about 2-3 minutes in driving time.

So many winters where my garden got wiped out by freeze and frost, I would drive up on the hill and the same palms and plants were untouched. I could pull my hair out sometimes!

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Valhallalla
14 hours ago, ruskinPalms said:

My first suspicion was lethal bronzing which is rampant in my area but who knows?

That was my first thought as well. I am not sure if I have ever seen Lethal Bronzing but I did witness the death of Christmas palms by the thousands in SE Florida in the mid 1990s due to Lethal Yellowing. The death of this palm looks remarkably similar. While they are not the same disease, both LB and LY are caused by phytoplasma and have similar symptoms.

Adonidia is extremely susceptible to LY and I would guess has a similar susceptibility to LB. This species was virtually eliminated from the landscape for many years down here in the same way Jamaican Tall coconuts and Pritchardia were wiped out in previous waves of LY. The disease seemed to only take out mature Adonidia that were flowering and fruiting. Younger palms got a pass. They survived and now Christmas palms are as common as they used to be since LY seems to be in remission in this area for the time being.

LY was so common that I became very good at spotting an infected palm in the very early stages of disease. First the foliage starts becoming paler, the fruit drops and the palm just doesn't look well. The older fronds progressively turn yellow/brown and begin drooping like Walt's palm. A few months later the crown collapses and then comes the chainsaw.

Walt, if you still have any pieces of your palm left you may want to try to get it tested for LB perhaps by IFAS. You also might want to test your remaining Adonidia as well.

uEP9ahR.jpg

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ruskinPalms

Here’s one that is pot planted in the warmest part of my yard that has been declining for a couple months now. 

A1B43F4F-2572-4761-8F4D-ED0AD353FC3A.jpeg

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kinzyjr

@ruskinPalms That sucks!  Since it is pot planted, are you going to segregate it away from the healthy ones?

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ruskinPalms
2 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

@ruskinPalms That sucks!  Since it is pot planted, are you going to segregate it away from the healthy ones?

No. I’m probably just going to cut it out. By pot planted I mean I cut the bottom third off the pot and plunked it in the ground to see what happens because even though this is the most absolute best warmest never been frosted part of my yard, I have not wanted to plant anything really cool here because I may get a pool In the near future which would make it painful to kill anything rare in this spot. 

87F387B2-9A73-4EB0-8405-F3716929F5D3.jpeg

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Pablo Palma
On 7/21/2021 at 9:36 AM, Valhallalla said:

That was my first thought as well. I am not sure if I have ever seen Lethal Bronzing but I did witness the death of Christmas palms by the thousands in SE Florida in the mid 1990s due to Lethal Yellowing. The death of this palm looks remarkably similar. While they are not the same disease, both LB and LY are caused by phytoplasma and have similar symptoms.

Lethal bronzing was my first thought also.  I've witnessed both of these diseases first hand in Adonidia palms and is very hard to tell the diference between them. Perhaps this could be a case of LB.

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Walt
On 7/21/2021 at 10:36 AM, Valhallalla said:

That was my first thought as well. I am not sure if I have ever seen Lethal Bronzing but I did witness the death of Christmas palms by the thousands in SE Florida in the mid 1990s due to Lethal Yellowing. The death of this palm looks remarkably similar. While they are not the same disease, both LB and LY are caused by phytoplasma and have similar symptoms.

Adonidia is extremely susceptible to LY and I would guess has a similar susceptibility to LB. This species was virtually eliminated from the landscape for many years down here in the same way Jamaican Tall coconuts and Pritchardia were wiped out in previous waves of LY. The disease seemed to only take out mature Adonidia that were flowering and fruiting. Younger palms got a pass. They survived and now Christmas palms are as common as they used to be since LY seems to be in remission in this area for the time being.

LY was so common that I became very good at spotting an infected palm in the very early stages of disease. First the foliage starts becoming paler, the fruit drops and the palm just doesn't look well. The older fronds progressively turn yellow/brown and begin drooping like Walt's palm. A few months later the crown collapses and then comes the chainsaw.

Walt, if you still have any pieces of your palm left you may want to try to get it tested for LB perhaps by IFAS. You also might want to test your remaining Adonidia as well.

uEP9ahR.jpg

The death of my adonida was caused by borers that may have introduced some kind of virus into the trunk.. The entire lower side of the trunk had tube-like projections coming out of it with saw dust all over the ground (around the base of the palm) and all over the leaves of a cordyline plant next to my palm. I've seen many palms (mostly all Phoenix sylvestris) that died or were in the process of dying from lethal bronzing, and none of them had the boring tubes and saw dust.  That being said, it is possible that the palm was infected with lethal bronzing (caused by Haplaxius crudus insect, a flying insect, carrying the disease) and the borers were just a secondary killer taking advantage of a weakened palm (i.e., infected with lethal yellowing). I say that because I've lost about 75 slash pine trees infected with disease caused by the southern pine beetle, as these pines were beat up pretty bad (large broken limbs, trees whipped back and forth) from Hurricane Irma.  I've read that the southern pine beetle is attracted to weakened trees.  This might have been the case for my adonidia palm, I don't know. In any event, I've dealt with the UofF and followed their protocol to test and confirm if a palm had lethal yellowing. I had to drill into the trunk of the palm and capture sawdust shavings, then send it to the UofF for testing. In fact, the UofF has one of my photos of a Phoenix sylvestris that died of lethal yellowing. I had to sign a release to give them permission to use my photo.  All I can do now is monitor my other adonidia palm and others ( I have all the palm species susceptible to LB).

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