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Sean.N.GulfBreeze

What's wrong with my mule?!?!

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Sean.N.GulfBreeze

This mule was planted back in February of 2021.  It did great until roughly August, when I noticed one of the lower fronds browned (more of a gray) quite quickly.  It gets plenty of water, as it's next to 3 larger/healthy mules planted 2 years ago.  I didn't think it was a big deal, so I cut the frond off.  Another month goes by and another one has browned and I cut it off.  Fast forward till late October, 3 additional fronds have browned.  I'm not really sure what's going on?  Wilt?  Lethal bronzing?  I'm at the point where I wanna rip it out.  One thing I thought of is, over the summer, our dog chewed up one of the fronds pretty badly and I didn't remove it right away.  Could this have let a fungus or a pathogen in?  The palm was doing well until this happened.  Or, is this just a coincidence?  If I do take it out, would you recommend treating the soil before re-planting another palm?  

20211112_154108.jpg

20211112_154102.jpg

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JLM

Was it fertilized at all during the summer? 

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Allen

Is dog peeing on it?  

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Scott W

Has it produced any new full growth since planting?

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Sean.N.GulfBreeze

It was fertilized over the summer on the same schedule as the other 3 mules I have.  Nothing was peeing on it and it did push out new growth since planting.  I think when the dogs chewed on it, it let something get in......

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Will

Maybe the soil? How is the drainage? Do you use a sprinkler for the lawn? Maybe it gets too big water if you water the lawn every day

Edited by Will

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Las Palmas Norte

What ever is happening, the problem is below the soil level.  A dog chewing won't cause what we see here. Looks like transplant shock.

Edited by Las Palmas Norte

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Sean.N.GulfBreeze
1 hour ago, Will said:

Maybe the soil? How is the drainage? Do you use a sprinkler for the lawn? Maybe it gets too big water if you water the lawn every day

The drainage is good, the soil is sandy.  It gets hit by the irrigation system about 3x a week in the summer.  If it's the soil, how do I go about replanting?  How far from the original spot should I be?  Can I treat the soil?

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Sean.N.GulfBreeze
2 hours ago, Las Palmas Norte said:

What ever is happening, the problem is below the soil level.  A dog chewing won't cause what we see here. Looks like transplant shock.

So, if i take it out, how far from the original spot could I re-plant?  Treat the soil?

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Collectorpalms

Its a goner. You wont be able to plant palms anywhere near that area as the disease is in the soil and you cannot get rid of it. I would move if possible. One by one your palms will die, maybe not right away but over years.

Edited by Collectorpalms

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Sean.N.GulfBreeze
24 minutes ago, Collectorpalms said:

Its a goner. You wont be able to plant palms anywhere near that area as the disease is in the soil and you cannot get rid of it. I would move if possible. One by one your palms will die, maybe not right away but over years.

What do you mean "one by one" my palms will die.  This is the newest of 15 palms in my yard and it was the only one with problems, also only one planted this year.  The other mules near it have been in the ground 2 years and are large and healthy.  My Queens are healthy, as well as my Sabals and pygmy dates.  There's no possible way to treat the soil?  I have a hard time believing that.  I can't plant anywhere near it?  There are 2 palms within 10 feet of this area that are fine.  The mule in question has been removed and I've drenched the soil with fungicide.  I will removed a wheel barrow full of soil, drench again, then add fresh soil.  Fingers crossed, I've decided to replant another mule in it's place about 4 feet from the original spot.

Edited by Sean.N.GulfBreeze

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Will
6 hours ago, Collectorpalms said:

Its a goner. You wont be able to plant palms anywhere near that area as the disease is in the soil and you cannot get rid of it. I would move if possible. One by one your palms will die, maybe not right away but over years.

What??? Why is there a disease in the soil? They will not die one by one...

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tropicalplantdude

I have a few questions to ask first, is your soil boggy and your climate wet? How have u planted it, slightly above or below the surface of the soil? Does the lawn sprinkler hit the palm?

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Sean.N.GulfBreeze
1 hour ago, tropicalplantdude said:

I have a few questions to ask first, is your soil boggy and your climate wet? How have u planted it, slightly above or below the surface of the soil? Does the lawn sprinkler hit the palm?

It's well draining sandy soil.  It's planted slightly above surface and yes, the sprinklers hit the palm.

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Estlander
5 hours ago, Sean.N.GulfBreeze said:

yes, the sprinklers hit the palm.

In my opinion that's your problem right there. I see damage exactly the same to many small palms around here from sprinklers. Ground and treated sewage water is very different from the distilled rain water.  That stuff should never end up in the crowns of palms.

An especially sad sight is a house I drive by every day that has a row of similarly sized Windmills and Pindos getting soaked every day from sprinklers, and all of them are currently declining the same exact way. Only the ones big enough with crowns out of reach from being hit by sprinklers look good.

Edited by Estlander
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Sean.N.GulfBreeze
13 minutes ago, Estlander said:

In my opinion that's your problem right there. I see damage exactly the same to many small palms around here from sprinklers. Ground and treated sewage water is very different from the distilled rain water.  That stuff should never end up in the crowns of palms.

An especially sad sight is a house I drive by every day that has a row of similarly sized Windmills and Pindos getting soaked every day from sprinklers, and all of them are currently declining the same exact way. Only the ones big enough with crowns out of reach from being hit by sprinklers look good.

It's possible.  This palm is in an area that gets hit by multiple zones, and we are on re-claimed water for irrigation.  The 3 mules next to it are big and healthy though.......

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Estlander
12 minutes ago, Sean.N.GulfBreeze said:

 The 3 mules next to it are big and healthy though.......

My guess is, the weaker specimens, or the ones not in the best of health, start going downhill first. Very likely even the stronger ones will eventually follow if they have to endure the stresses of it long enough. In our humid and already pretty rainy climate regularly adding re-claimed water deep to their growing points is asking for trouble.

Edited by Estlander

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Sean.N.GulfBreeze
19 minutes ago, Estlander said:

My guess is, the weaker specimens, or the ones not in the best of health, start going downhill first. Very likely even the stronger ones will eventually follow if they have to endure the stresses of it long enough. In our humid and already pretty rainy climate regularly adding re-claimed water deep to their growing points is asking for trouble.

I'm not convinced.......It went from green to toast in a matter of 3 months.  My irrigation pretty much hits all my palms in some shape or form, and this one is the only one with issues. 

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JLM
6 hours ago, Sean.N.GulfBreeze said:

It's well draining sandy soil.  It's planted slightly above surface and yes, the sprinklers hit the palm.

 

1 hour ago, Estlander said:

In my opinion that's your problem right there. I see damage exactly the same to many small palms around here from sprinklers. Ground and treated sewage water is very different from the distilled rain water.  That stuff should never end up in the crowns of palms.

An especially sad sight is a house I drive by every day that has a row of similarly sized Windmills and Pindos getting soaked every day from sprinklers, and all of them are currently declining the same exact way. Only the ones big enough with crowns out of reach from being hit by sprinklers look good.

 

7 hours ago, tropicalplantdude said:

I have a few questions to ask first, is your soil boggy and your climate wet? How have u planted it, slightly above or below the surface of the soil? Does the lawn sprinkler hit the palm?

Yes, we do live in a wet climate, sort of. It really depends on the year. Pensacola Airport has picked up over 80 inches of rain this year so far, compared to the average 50 something inches for the entire year. It has been a wet year, nobody can disagree with that here. If your sprinkler was hitting the palm, then thats likely the problem. The sprinkler can be fixed to point a different direction if possible. I would say that moving the palm would be a last resort, its in enough stress already. Im gonna be honest, ive not even watered my in ground palms this summer, it rained every single day there for a period. The palms certainly loved all the rain we were getting, but i didnt. The weeds grew faster than weeds this year it felt like lol

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Jtee

I’ve only experienced this one time, I had planted a pindo several year ago, it looked good for a few months then declined in the same way yours is doing until it just died. I don’t know why, all of my other palms were super healthy. I’m guessing it was planted too close to my oak tree or something in the soil in that particular area. I just never planted anything in that location again. 

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D Palm

I had a Pindo that showed the same signs yours is showing. It also started throwing deformed spears, then Brown spears. I was tired of looking at a declining palm for years so I yanked it.

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Collectorpalms

Here is the issue if it dies...............

caused by the fungus F. oxysporum f. sp. palmarum. The fungus causes a vascular wilt of the palm. Specifically, it obstructs the xylem (water-conducting) tissue, which results in the symptoms of leaf desiccation and death described below.

The fungus produces short-lived spores (macroconidia and microconidia). It also produces spores called chlamydospores that live in the soil and plant tissue for long time periods (usually years).

The primary hosts of the pathogen are Syagrus romanzoffiana (queen palm) and Washingtonia robusta (Mexican fan palm or Washington palm). While the pathogen has also been observed affecting Canary Island date palm and the "mule" palm (× Butyagrus nabonnandii), a cross between Syagrus romanzoffiana and Butia odorata, this has occurred very rarely.

Thus far, the disease has been documented in Florida and the Houston-Galveston area of Texas. It is widespread throughout Florida. Affected palm trees have been observed mostly in mature landscapes. However, the disease has been observed on juvenile palms (palms without trunks) in a few nurseries. Because the diseased palms decline so quickly, the diseased nursery palms are often not marketable.

https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/PP278

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tropicalplantdude
21 hours ago, Sean.N.GulfBreeze said:

It's well draining sandy soil.  It's planted slightly above surface and yes, the sprinklers hit the palm.

Sprinklers are the problem 100/100 unless u plant a swamp palm like a sabal there nothing that likes to dry out will grow properly, especially mule palms, which have as parents two drought tolerant palms

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tropicalplantdude
15 hours ago, JLM said:

 

 

Yes, we do live in a wet climate, sort of. It really depends on the year. Pensacola Airport has picked up over 80 inches of rain this year so far, compared to the average 50 something inches for the entire year. It has been a wet year, nobody can disagree with that here. If your sprinkler was hitting the palm, then thats likely the problem. The sprinkler can be fixed to point a different direction if possible. I would say that moving the palm would be a last resort, its in enough stress already. Im gonna be honest, ive not even watered my in ground palms this summer, it rained every single day there for a period. The palms certainly loved all the rain we were getting, but i didnt. The weeds grew faster than weeds this year it felt like lol

Oh lol that's definitely it combined to lawn tbh XD and WOW 80 inches I rarely get above 20 in my area! Mediterranean gardener here! I have to water basically from February to October (dry season) 

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JLM
5 hours ago, tropicalplantdude said:

Oh lol that's definitely it combined to lawn tbh XD and WOW 80 inches I rarely get above 20 in my area! Mediterranean gardener here! I have to water basically from February to October (dry season) 

It has certainly been a wet year here. I couldnt imagine what it would be like if this area only got 20 inches for the year. I can guess, and it involves fire and leafless trees.

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tropicalplantdude
13 hours ago, JLM said:

It has certainly been a wet year here. I couldnt imagine what it would be like if this area only got 20 inches for the year. I can guess, and it involves fire and leafless trees.

Ya ofc it involves fires and death, luckily enough Mediterranean plants are made for it so everything springs back in fall with the first storms. It's kind of the opposite of any other climate, spring-summer is our "dormancy" and the rest is lush and green

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PalmatierMeg
On 11/18/2021 at 10:54 AM, Collectorpalms said:

Here is the issue if it dies...............

caused by the fungus F. oxysporum f. sp. palmarum. The fungus causes a vascular wilt of the palm. Specifically, it obstructs the xylem (water-conducting) tissue, which results in the symptoms of leaf desiccation and death described below.

The fungus produces short-lived spores (macroconidia and microconidia). It also produces spores called chlamydospores that live in the soil and plant tissue for long time periods (usually years).

The primary hosts of the pathogen are Syagrus romanzoffiana (queen palm) and Washingtonia robusta (Mexican fan palm or Washington palm). While the pathogen has also been observed affecting Canary Island date palm and the "mule" palm (× Butyagrus nabonnandii), a cross between Syagrus romanzoffiana and Butia odorata, this has occurred very rarely.

Thus far, the disease has been documented in Florida and the Houston-Galveston area of Texas. It is widespread throughout Florida. Affected palm trees have been observed mostly in mature landscapes. However, the disease has been observed on juvenile palms (palms without trunks) in a few nurseries. Because the diseased palms decline so quickly, the diseased nursery palms are often not marketable.

https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/PP278

I thought wilt when I first saw those photos. I lost over a dozen queens, 2 mules & a W. robusta to the disease in about 15 months. It is fatal and untreatable. Once symptoms show the palm is stone cold dead within a few weeks. Remove/discard every the first time you notice symptoms. Don't plant those species of palm again.

What I don't get if I read this topic correctly and no one else has addressed is what's the deal with watering/irrigating newly planted palms 3x per week in the summer? In Florida? Unless you are in a full blown Gobi Desert drought that is waste of water of the first order. Rainy season is a time to back off the watering schedules to give aquifers a breather

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D Palm

I have multiple Pindo, Bismarck, Sylvester, Queens on my 2 acre property in N. Florida with no in ground irrigation. I water my queens if we have a dry spell in the spring…about it. Try to give them a break before they are sitting in water all summer…fall…winter.

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Scott W
On 11/18/2021 at 10:54 AM, Collectorpalms said:

Here is the issue if it dies...............

caused by the fungus F. oxysporum f. sp. palmarum

https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/PP278

Damn, that's a nasty fungus....

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Sean.N.GulfBreeze
On 11/19/2021 at 10:32 AM, PalmatierMeg said:

I thought wilt when I first saw those photos. I lost over a dozen queens, 2 mules & a W. robusta to the disease in about 15 months. It is fatal and untreatable. Once symptoms show the palm is stone cold dead within a few weeks. Remove/discard every the first time you notice symptoms. Don't plant those species of palm again.

What I don't get if I read this topic correctly and no one else has addressed is what's the deal with watering/irrigating newly planted palms 3x per week in the summer? In Florida? Unless you are in a full blown Gobi Desert drought that is waste of water of the first order. Rainy season is a time to back off the watering schedules to give aquifers a breather

I run my irrigation 3x in the summer because the grass goes into drought stress quite quickly.  The palm just happens to be in the middle of the yard.  I have extremely sandy and well draining soil which dries out very quickly.  I'm in the panhandle of Florida and sometimes we go weeks without rain in the heat of the summer.  You have no idea about the water requirements in my area.  Overwatering this palm is NOT the issue.......

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JLM
3 minutes ago, Sean.N.GulfBreeze said:

I run my irrigation 3x in the summer because the grass goes into drought stress quite quickly.  The palm just happens to be in the middle of the yard.  I have extremely sandy and well draining soil which dries out very quickly.  I'm in the panhandle of Florida and sometimes we go weeks without rain in the heat of the summer.  You have no idea about the water requirements in my area.  Overwatering this palm is NOT the issue.......

What you said about how we can go periods of time without rain during the middle of summer, is indeed true, but that did not really happen this summer. This isnt about every other summer, its about the summer that just ended, which is also when the problem occured. It rained like crazy from Spring until the beginning of October. Overwatering may or may not have been the problem. Either way, its winter now and the grass is gonna die at some point due to frost anyways, so i would cut the watering if you have a choice. I understand some HOA neighboroods require it though, but i cant speak for your situation. It might be better to just go ahead and move it do a different spot that doesnt get hit by the sprinkler. You can always hand water it if needed, but these palms should do fine on the amount of rain we get every year, and should actually have some degree of drought tolerance.

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Sean.N.GulfBreeze
4 minutes ago, JLM said:

What you said about how we can go periods of time without rain during the middle of summer, is indeed true, but that did not really happen this summer. This isnt about every other summer, its about the summer that just ended, which is also when the problem occured. It rained like crazy from Spring until the beginning of October. Overwatering may or may not have been the problem. Either way, its winter now and the grass is gonna die at some point due to frost anyways, so i would cut the watering if you have a choice. I understand some HOA neighboroods require it though, but i cant speak for your situation. It might be better to just go ahead and move it do a different spot that doesnt get hit by the sprinkler. You can always hand water it if needed, but these palms should do fine on the amount of rain we get every year, and should actually have some degree of drought tolerance.

The irrigation was dialed back to once a week and will be completely shut off soon for the winter.  The grass does not die off, just goes into dormancy.  The palm has been removed but another mule palm will go in it's place to make the palms around my pool symmetrical.  There are currently 3 mules surrounding the pool and this 4th one finishes it off.  I don't have any other options on placement.  I will probably end up just moving the sprinkler head to accommodate the new palm.  Funny cause the other 3 (which are healthy) got planted a year prior to this one and received the same direct irrigation as the 4th one.....and they are fine. 

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Scott W

@Sean.N.GulfBreeze your question in the original post was if this was a fungus or pathogen.... 

Not ever having experienced anything like this, and after reading the linked article @Collectorpalms posted above it reads pretty close to what you experienced with this palm.   I certainly hope it isn't for the sake of the other palms.

Was this mule from a different source than the other three?

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Sean.N.GulfBreeze
20 minutes ago, Scott W said:

@Sean.N.GulfBreeze your question in the original post was if this was a fungus or pathogen.... 

Not ever having experienced anything like this, and after reading the linked article @Collectorpalms posted above it reads pretty close to what you experienced with this palm.   I certainly hope it isn't for the sake of the other palms.

Was this mule from a different source than the other three?

I was thinking it was a fungus too.  I sourced this palm from my local Lowes which is the same place I got the other 3, but that was a year earlier.  This one was never as green as the other ones....sort of a lime green color that never really darkened.  It was in the ground 7 months and showed symptoms after 4 months.  

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JLM
1 minute ago, Sean.N.GulfBreeze said:

I was thinking it was a fungus too.  I sourced this palm from my local Lowes which is the same place I got the other 3, but that was a year earlier.  This one was never as green as the other ones....sort of a lime green color that never really darkened.  It was in the ground 7 months and showed symptoms after 4 months.  

Wait the Gulf Breeze location ACTUALLY gets Mules??? I have never found them up here in Pace :rant:
Looks like i just might be headed down into that area some time next Spring/Summer.

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Scott W
43 minutes ago, Sean.N.GulfBreeze said:

I sourced this palm from my local Lowes which is the same place I got the other 3, but that was a year earlier.  

Did you at least take it back and test their plant warranty???  I've seen them take back dead plants in pots while waiting to return other items.

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Sean.N.GulfBreeze
49 minutes ago, JLM said:

Wait the Gulf Breeze location ACTUALLY gets Mules??? I have never found them up here in Pace :rant:
Looks like i just might be headed down into that area some time next Spring/Summer.

HAHA, yes.  Last year they got 5 and this year there was 4 in stock.  They only get one shipment a year.  There's nurseries around here that get them too, but Lowes is the cheapest. 

7 minutes ago, Scott W said:

Did you at least take it back and test their plant warranty???  I've seen them take back dead plants in pots while waiting to return other items.

They don't honor warranties because its a "tropical".  

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JLM
3 minutes ago, Sean.N.GulfBreeze said:

HAHA, yes.  Last year they got 5 and this year there was 4 in stock.  They only get one shipment a year.  There's nurseries around here that get them too, but Lowes is the cheapest. 

They don't honor warranties because its a "tropical".  

It seems like they get the shipment at about the same time every year then? About what time of year do they get them? 

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Sean.N.GulfBreeze
11 minutes ago, JLM said:

It seems like they get the shipment at about the same time every year then? About what time of year do they get them? 

Both times I got them there it was late February.  If I see them there in February I'll let you know.   Where are you located?  

Edited by Sean.N.GulfBreeze

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JLM

Pace area, not too far away. Let me know if you see them when you do/if you do. Ill see if its a favorable time to head down that away and see about picking one up. Whats the price tag on those suckers?

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