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Dead spear leaf on Mule Palm


eevans

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I have a large Mule that has been in the ground in its current location since 2016 (see https://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/48668-moving-a-mule/). 

It has been growing very quickly and robustly since then, with no indications of any problems that I have seen.  Yesterday I noticed that the newest leaf spear emerging is completely dead and dry (see picture).  The next-oldest leaf to its right appears OK as far as I can tell, though it has not fully emerged yet.

This is obviously not from cold damage, given that it is now October and we did not even have a real freeze last winter.  Our early summer was slightly rainier than usual, but nothing extreme.

I'm a little depressed about this, since it has been doing so well for the past 4 years.  I previously had a large Pindo in the same spot for almost 20 years. That one died after initially showing a similar symptom - the newest leaves all emerged dead.  Eventually the whole palm died from the youngest to the oldest leaves, and the trunk decayed into a foul-smelling wet mess. 

I'm completely stumped about what might have caused this, and whether there is anything I could or should do to save the palm at this point.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

IMG_20201003_100703736_HDR.jpg

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I would pour H2O2 (Hydrogen Peroxide) down the crown shaft once a week for a month as a start.

 

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The photo in your other thread didn't show any signs of Fusarium, but it could be a different fungus.  From the symptoms it sounds like it might be "bud rot," generally caused by either Thielaviopsis or Phytophthora.  Here's a big article on it.  I use Banrot 40WP on my palms if I suspect a fungal disease.  If you've spotted it early enough a drench of Hydrogen Peroxide and a systemic like Banrot should help.  These fungi can also live in the soil for a long time, which may be why this one caught what appears to be the same disease that killed the earlier Pindo. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pp144

 

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  • 1 month later...

Unfortunately, after applying alternating H202 drenches and copper fungicide treatments to the bud several times over a few weeks, the condition did not improve. 

Here is the last picture I'll be taking of it - the tree service is coming next week to remove the remains.

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions.

IMG_20201126_164113656.jpg

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Oh no!! It looked so healthy beforehand! 

Very sorry indeed for your loss :(

I hope it can be an opportunity to plant a new palm someday, although as Merlyn2220 suggests, maybe not exactly in the same spot, just in case the fungus is in the soil... 

Once again, my condolences,

J

 

 

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Here in Hawaii it could be caused by banana moth, an increasing problem. If you treat it with Talstar and Merit early enough, the palm can be saved. Is there banana moth in your area?

 

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it could come back in a few months some butia capitatas become butia decapitata so it could come back if you are lucky

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."
~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

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On 11/29/2020 at 8:58 AM, necturus said:

Can the soil be treated to eliminate the fungus?

Good question. I don't know whether or not that would be practical, or what I would treat it with.  (If anybody has any suggestions, please pipe up!)

The soil in my yard has a very high clay content.  In cooler months it soaks up water and holds on to it. So my suspicion is that our recent wetter than usual spring, perhaps exacerbated by irrigation from a soaker hose that runs through the same planing bed, might have created the conditions for one of the "water mold" parasites like Phytophthora to thrive and eventually get into the root system.

If I try again, I'll make sure to do it in well-drained, amended soil and avoid supplemental irrigation after establishment.

 

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On 11/30/2020 at 10:42 AM, climate change virginia said:

it could come back in a few months some butia capitatas become butia decapitata so it could come back if you are lucky

Well , at this point that seems unlikely.  the bud has collapsed, is leaning to one side, and smells prettttty bad.

But thanks for the thought!

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On 11/30/2020 at 1:55 AM, timbo22 said:

Here in Hawaii it could be caused by banana moth, an increasing problem. If you treat it with Talstar and Merit early enough, the palm can be saved. Is there banana moth in your area?

I haven't heard of that being a pest around here.  In any case, there is no sign of that kind of insect damage anywhere on the plant (and believe me I was looking all over it for anything unusual).

The only palm insect pest I've dealt with here so far is the "ox beetle" (Strategus aloeus), which has killed a couple of small windmill palms, and damaged (but not killed) some Sabal minors.  Their signs are very easy to spot since they dig holes as big as crawfish chimneys against the base of the trunk.

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5 hours ago, eevans said:

Well , at this point that seems unlikely.  the bud has collapsed, is leaning to one side, and smells prettttty bad.

But thanks for the thought!

looks like its time for a new mule also did u use enough h202.

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."
~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

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  • 3 months later...
On 12/5/2020 at 2:14 PM, eevans said:

Good question. I don't know whether or not that would be practical, or what I would treat it with.  (If anybody has any suggestions, please pipe up!)

The soil in my yard has a very high clay content.  In cooler months it soaks up water and holds on to it. So my suspicion is that our recent wetter than usual spring, perhaps exacerbated by irrigation from a soaker hose that runs through the same planing bed, might have created the conditions for one of the "water mold" parasites like Phytophthora to thrive and eventually get into the root system.

If I try again, I'll make sure to do it in well-drained, amended soil and avoid supplemental irrigation after establishment.

 

I believe your dealing with Phytophthora ( or similar) in the soil. Eventually it will take out all palms that are susceptible. It may be 1 year or 5, it never goes away.  I have Eventually lost all the palms in my area of yard, and I suspect the same thing. Too many species to name. They l deaths typically happened after a long dry spell followed by wet summer tropical moisture. Which is often for Texas.

This will serve as a good reminder that you have to be more worried about disease than cold 95% of the time here.

Edited by Collectorpalms
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Current Texas Gardening Zone 9a, Mean (1999-2024): 22F Low/104F High. Yearly Precipitation 39.17 inches.

Extremes: Low Min 4F 2021, 13.8F 2024. High Max 112F 2011/2023, Precipitation Max 58 inches 2015, Lowest 19 Inches 2011.

Weather Station: https://www.wunderground.com/dashboard/pws/KTXCOLLE465

Ryan (Paleoclimatologist Since 4 billion Years ago, Meteorologist/Earth Scientist/Physicist Since 1995, Savy Horticulturist Since Birth.)

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