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Canary Island Date Palm Weevil Damage, but Is This New Growth I See?


Michael Dourney
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Hi everyone,

Recent reader, new time caller. I live in Tampa, FL and have a Canary Island Date Palm that was recently diagnosed with palmetto weevils. Our local arborist was not able to come out quickly, but successfully and accurately diagnosed it with images and a phone call. Despite everyone that I spoke with saying that the tree should be pulled, I read some guidance on this form as well as from a You Tube video suggesting a few courses of action, including:

Fertilome Tree & Shrub Drench Gallon and

7.9% Bifenthrin Concentrate for Insect Control, which as the gentleman in the video (who was dealing with severe issues in South America suggested), I applied by drilling into some of the lower fronds with a 1.5" auger bit in order to spray the Bifenthrin into the bud. I also dumped some fire ant powder into the top of the bud, again something else that I read on a forum. I was desperate and was trying whatever I could. I only removed fronds that were drooping and brown with weevil tunnels...trying to give the tree a chance by leaving the greener fronds (mainly on one side as you will see). And I have remained patient.

That was all back in March, it is now Mid May. I've done some repeat application between then and now of the Bifrenthrin. The fronds that were not infected have held up all this time (see pictures). And most recently, there are some frizzy new frond spikes that have started to emerge (again, see photos). My question to this illustrious group is, (a) is this actual new growth, (b) is there any chance this palm will survive and recover to some sort of decent life, and (c) at this point, what should I do to help the palm?

Thanks in advance for the replies. This is a whole new ordeal for me...not necessarily the greenest thumb, but I've put in a lot of effort. If this guy survives, I'm popping some serious champagne. Be well!

 

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Edited by Michael Dourney
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@Michael Dourney Welcome to PalmTalk!

Looks like new growth.  If so, nice save!  Hopefully it will lead a normal life after this, but the trunk may end up being pinched because of the incident.

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone (2012): 9b | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (1985, 1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a | 30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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Yep, that sure looks like new growth!  It is a little distorted and will probably grow out looking weird, but it sure looks like progress!

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19 hours ago, Merlyn said:

Yep, that sure looks like new growth!  It is a little distorted and will probably grow out looking weird, but it sure looks like progress!

Do you think the palm will survive and get back to some state of health? Plan on fertilizing with Lutz palm spikes to try to help it along. 
 

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3 hours ago, Michael Dourney said:

Do you think the palm will survive and get back to some state of health? Plan on fertilizing with Lutz palm spikes to try to help it along. 

I think it has a good chance, if it is growing new fronds it probably means the weevils are dead.  You might consider doing a soil drench with Imadicloprid or Dinotefuran.  They are a good systemic that may help prevent a reinfestation.  For fertilizing the typical recommendations is 1.5lb of 8-2-12 fertilizer per 100sqft of canopy area.  A good choice is PalmGain,  ut other "palm special" type fertilizers will work too.  Look for a timed release with a ratio similar to the 8-2-12.  Look for a micronutrient mix similar to PalmGain, with Magnesium, Manganese, Iron, Boron, etc.  Lutz spikes (and most spikes in general) aren't recommended just because they are really expensive and frequently don't have a good nutrient mix.. The Lutz Palm Maintenance look reasonable, no clue how expensive they are.  Here is the PalmGain label for reference. https://www.bgi-usa.com/wp-content/uploads/649681800716-2PALM-Back.jpg

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I had a Canary Island Date Palm in Moraira Spain that was in far worse shape than yours, and it pulled trough. I had a specialized company come and spray the palm (don't ask me with what, I don't know). First thing they did was remova all the leaves in order to remove any RPWs left in the petioles. Then they sprayed profusely. The second thing I did was install some Red Palm Weevil traps (Picadu trap). See here https://www.sospalm.com/en/red-palm-weevil-traps/

You need to place these as far away from your palms as possible. They work like a charm and break the red palm weevil multiplication cycle. This is about five months worth during the winter.IMG_20220515_124744.thumb.jpg.24d218e64f0ec50c0d9e00566e3eed02.jpgIMG_20220515_124806.thumb.jpg.498209e5a6a877c2f7f419c7fe2dec74.jpg

I'll also be using Endotherapy in the near future (see same link above) as this seems to be the most effective and cheapest way of protecting your palms. Hope yours pulls through. Cheers

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