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Dr Henry Donselman has died


Keith N Tampa (ex SoJax)

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I'm not sure this is the right place to post this information, but a former colleague of mine, and a fellow palm grower, Dr Henry Donselman has passed away. I do not know the cause. I thought those of you that might have known him but hadn't heard yet might be interested. I've attached a copy of his obit.

henry.pdf

Land O Lakes FL, a suburb on the North Side of Tampa, FL

Summers are great, 90f/32c in the day & 70f/21c at night with plentiful rain & sun

Winters are subtropical with occasional frosts and freezes. Tropical cyclones happen.

We have a few Royal palms in the warm microclimates but Coconuts freeze.

I am a Kayaker, Hiker, Bicyclist, and amateur Photographer that loves the outdoors.  

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Wow. I have heard of him, and I believe he did some great palm research. For some reason I thought He lived in Florida. He was not active I think much here in the PSSC. But I think he will be missed for his contributions...

My condolensces to his family.

Zone 10a at best after 2007 AND 2013, on SW facing hill, 1 1/2 miles from coast in Oceanside, CA. 30-98 degrees, and 45-80deg. about 95% of the time.

"The great workman of nature is time."   ,  "Genius is nothing but a great aptitude for patience."

-George-Louis Leclerc de Buffon-

I do some experiments and learning in my garden with palms so you don't have to experience the pain! Look at my old threads to find various observations and tips!

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Another loss to the palm community. I remember the name...maybe from the old IPS email list server? Condolences to his family, I'm sure he will be missed.

Gold Coast, Queensland Latitude 28S. Mild, Humid Subtropical climate. Rainfall - not consistent enough!

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Wow. I have heard of him, and I believe he did some great palm research. For some reason I thought He lived in Florida. He was not active I think much here in the PSSC. But I think he will be missed for his contributions...

My condolensces to his family.

Bill - he was from Florida but moved to California in his later years. It appears that Dr. Donselman's forte was doing research about palm cultivation. His work is referenced in Ornamental Palm Horticulture, 2000. Most of our experiences are with those academics who describe new species and/or publish palm books. Here is a link to Dr. Donselman's informative website you may enjoy.

http://donselman.homestead.com/

Here is an older post regarding the above mentioned site: www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=12031

Coral Gables, FL 8 miles North of Fairchild USDA Zone 10B

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Here is a copy of a letter by Dr. Donselman as a consultant to a large municiple project in Yuba City, Ca. addressing concerns about Phoenix canariensis and Fusarium Wilt.

Dr. Henry Donselman, Palm Specialist

29213 Broken Arrow Way<p align="LEFT">Murrieta, CA 92563<p align="LEFT">Phone (951) 698-4636 Cell (760) 250-0768E-mail palmdoc@yahoo.com

Website: www.homestead.com/donselman

Michelle Perez, Associate

Freedman Tung & Bottomley

74 New Montgomery Street, Suite 300

San Francisco, CA 94105

Dear Ms. Perez,

You asked that I discuss whether Canary Island date palms (Phoenix canariensis) can still

be safely specified for planting in landscapes in your area. I have been a palm specialist for 30

years and have spent much of my time working with this palm species. While it is true that

Canary Island Date Palms are susceptible to Fusarium Wilt, a serious disease of this palm, it is

not a reason to stop recommending this palm as a part of your plant palette. There are several

reasons for this, but the most important are:

1. Fusarium Wilt is a disease that is almost always spread mechanically through the use of

contaminated pruning equipment (chainsaws). By insuring that sterile pruning techniques

are used in caring for these palms it eliminates the possibility of infecting these palms

with this disease. Contrary to "folklore" Fusarium Wilt is not transmitted by rodents,

birds, insects, or other means.

2. We can almost totally make sure the palms selected for a project are disease free by preinspecting

them for this disease before they are transplanted. Canary Island Date Palms

are "found" in existing landscapes and transplanted to the new landscapes. A qualified

palms specialist such as me can inspect the palms before they are salvaged and determine

if they are free of all symptoms of this disease. Since this disease has a very specific field

diagnostic symptom (one sided death in older leaves) we can tell if a palm has early

symptoms of this disease. The only way a palm can "slip through" this pre-inspection is

if it was recently pruned using non-sterile techniques. When I inspect palms for this

disease I eliminate those palms that were recently pruned, thus avoiding this risk.

3. We use disease free "washed concrete sand" as the backfill for these palms eliminating

the contamination of the soil at the planting site with other palm diseases.

4. I have worked with some of the largest development companies in California (such as the

Irvine Company, Irvine CA) with their palm planting specifications and have had great

success in using this palm to create several spectacular landscapes. I have also worked

with many of the casinos in Las Vegas using this specific palm and have been very

successful in assuring its healthy establishment.

5. Fusarium Wilt is really only a serious concern here in San Diego, Orange, Riverside, and

Los Angeles Counties. It is not a problem in your area. In fact, It is so infrequent in your

area that I have never seen it in the Central Valley, north of Sacramento.

Let me know if you need further information.. I look forward to working with you on this project.

Sincerely,

Dr. Henry Donselrnan, Palm Specialist

Coral Gables, FL 8 miles North of Fairchild USDA Zone 10B

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  • 2 weeks later...

Moose,

Happy to report that the above referenced CIPDs are doing very well. I'll try to get a photo when the rain clears.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The International Palm Society has received two donations, each in the amount of $150, in memory of Dr. Donselman. The donors have received thank you notes from the society.

Mike Merritt

Big Island of Hawaii, windward, rainy side, 740 feet (225 meters) elevation

165 inches (4,200 mm) of rain per year, 66 to 83 deg F (20 to 28 deg C) in summer, 62 to 80 deg F (16.7 to 26.7 Deg C) in winter.

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  • 9 years later...

I am grieved to hear of Dr. Donselman's passing. He mentored me when I was a certified arborist back in the '90s. It was an honor to work with someone so passionate and specialized. From nutrient deficiencies, to diseases, to palm species, he was a professional in the truest sense of the word. He will be sorely missed! -Sam Polly, Missouri State Director of Pesticide Safety Education

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