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Adopted palm parent looking for help in San Diego County


castlegate8

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Hello, I am new member of this  forum. Please forgive any etiquette or traditions that I am unknowingly missing. I am desperate for help. We purchased an abandoned property with an overgrown yard and a gorgeous Canary Island Date Palm. It was trimmed by a reputable tree trimmer in September.  Over the course of the last two  to three weeks, the entire crown fell off. Ignorant until I searched the web, I believe this is the murderous weevil. I am looking for any type of professional assistance/ service to try to save the tree if possible, and give me a diagnosis. If not salvagable,  I am looking for a reputable company to responsibly do what has to be done with this massive beauty, whether its removal, remedies, and reporting this to an official entity. I have no green thumb, and have never encountered this. I do love the living planet, and I am literally in tears over this potential tragedy. Located in Vista, San Diego County.  Thank you so kindly in advance.

The photos are pre-trim in September,  and current state.

Screenshot_20240217_162316_Photos.jpg

20240217_162121.jpg

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Looks like a Rhinoceros beetle attack. Canary Island Date Palms are falling victim all around San Diego and the beetles are moving North. 
Others here can verify. Best to try to kill the larva before tree is disposed of. 

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It dosent look good I whould probably remove it unfortunately it looks to late to save it😥

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11 hours ago, castlegate8 said:

I have no green thumb, and have never encountered this. I do love the living planet, and I am literally in tears over this potential tragedy. Located in Vista, San Diego County.  Thank you so kindly in advance.

Unfortunately, Bruce is correct on the diagnosis of the South American Palm Weevil.  Once you recognize the problem on a Canary Island Date Palm (CIDP) the damage to the meristem is done and the palm will die.  Yours was long past recovery when that second photo was taken.   The link Bruce sent probably discusses what I'm writing, but it is important to remove it sooner rather than later.  The weevils bore into the palm and lay their eggs.  The larvae when mature will fly and attack other palms.  Although CIDP seem to be their favorite diet here in Southern California, they will attack other species of palms too.  So do your neighbors a favor and get it removed to minimize the spread of these weevils.

There are a lot of tree trimming companies that will do this work here in the North County.  My neighborhood has lost several in the last few months, and most have been much larger than yours, so more challenging to remove.  I haven't personally had to pay for a palm removal, but know at least one of my neighbors used Bishops Tree Service, which is based in Encinitas last month to have their CIDP which was infested by the South American Palm Weevil removed.  There are several tree trimmers based in Vista that you can look up too. 

I'm sorry for your loss.  Sadly it is becoming a more and more common sight here in the North County to see mature CIDP's with the classic flat top telltale of an infestation.

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33.0782 North -117.305 West  at 72 feet elevation

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  • 4 weeks later...
Posted (edited)
On 2/23/2024 at 1:10 PM, bruce Steele said:

https://cisr.ucr.edu/invasive-species/south-american-palm-weevil

Here is an article about the palm weevil. 

 @bruce Steele Thank you for the advice and article. We did  soak the tree and surrounding ground with  a professional pesticide before having it removed.  Sadly, 3 of our others were also felled by the weevil. We kept one, which is only 6 feet high, and are having it treated 2x monthly to attempt to save it

Edited by castlegate8
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On 2/23/2024 at 4:22 PM, Palmtreedude69 said:

It dosent look good I whould probably remove it unfortunately it looks to late to save it😥

 Yes, we had to have it removed. It is heartbreaking.

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On 2/23/2024 at 4:33 PM, Tracy said:

Unfortunately, Bruce is correct on the diagnosis of the South American Palm Weevil.  Once you recognize the problem on a Canary Island Date Palm (CIDP) the damage to the meristem is done and the palm will die.  Yours was long past recovery when that second photo was taken.   The link Bruce sent probably discusses what I'm writing, but it is important to remove it sooner rather than later.  The weevils bore into the palm and lay their eggs.  The larvae when mature will fly and attack other palms.  Although CIDP seem to be their favorite diet here in Southern California, they will attack other species of palms too.  So do your neighbors a favor and get it removed to minimize the spread of these weevils.

There are a lot of tree trimming companies that will do this work here in the North County.  My neighborhood has lost several in the last few months, and most have been much larger than yours, so more challenging to remove.  I haven't personally had to pay for a palm removal, but know at least one of my neighbors used Bishops Tree Service, which is based in Encinitas last month to have their CIDP which was infested by the South American Palm Weevil removed.  There are several tree trimmers based in Vista that you can look up too. 

I'm sorry for your loss.  Sadly it is becoming a more and more common sight here in the North County to see mature CIDP's with the classic flat top telltale of an infestation.

Yes, you are 100% correct. It was awful ,and happened so quickly. Felix Pena Tree Services  removed the infected trees 2 days  after examination.

 What are we supposed to replace these with ?  Have you seen any other palms that do well, or any other "significant" tree that lends the same  stately beauty to ones landscape as these?

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On 2/24/2024 at 12:26 AM, TomJ said:

Where in Vista is this...   :blink:

 We are in the Buena Vista Creek area ,  in the neighborhood behind the Vista Historical Museum. Shockingly, driving up Foothill from the east, we saw 5 more that grow in the culvert also flattened out, the same week. I had just photographed that side of the road for its extreme beauty not a month before, and the palms appeared fine. 

 

 it is terrifying to to think what is going to happen to our quintessential Southern California landscape as these majestic trees are just poof! gone in one day . I am personally still having a hard time  getting over this, or even accepting that this happened on such a grand scale across  San Diego . It is truly shocking.

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1 hour ago, castlegate8 said:

What are we supposed to replace these with ?  Have you seen any other palms that do well, or any other "significant" tree that lends the same  stately beauty to ones landscape as these?

The answer isn't simple.  First, it takes time for any palm or tree to get to that size.  Some that grow fast, just turn into an ongoing maintenance issue, in that the initial speed of growth will require either trimming and/or an abundance of leaf litter (palm or conventional tree).  There are some beautiful large palm species you can use, but while not the first choice of the South American Palm Weevil, they may still be susceptible and will take some patience to gain any substantial size.  I'm thinking of Bismarckia nobilis and Jubea chilensis, which you can look up on these pages to see some spectacular examples.  A group planting of some other palms, or one of the clumping palm species might also provide a nice statement.  For the group planting, 3 Chambeyronia oliviformis would be my selection, since this is a full sun spot in Vista.  Clumping palms from the Chrysalidocarpus genus (onilahensis, rufescens or pembanus).

If you wanted something novel and large without a lot of need for maintenance, consider one of the tree Aloes, now reclassified as Aloidendron, such as Aloidendron bareberae, Aloidendron dichotomum or the hybrid of the two known as Aloidendron Hercules.  These have the added advantage of being more drought tolerant and appreciate full sun.

If you are adventurous, consider one of the large Cycad species from the genus Encephalartos (laurentianus, whitelockii or ituriensis).  Don't expect immediate gratification without time and some money for this family of plant's which are often confused with palms (think "Sago Palm" which is actually a Cycad named Cycas revoluta).

Remember that the palms you lost were not young and took time to get to their stature, so replacing them will take the requisite time and/or money tradeoff to find large specimens.  Good luck and don't rush your search for replacements.

 

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33.0782 North -117.305 West  at 72 feet elevation

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Coming to the OC, LA Riverside and SBDO.

😭

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Castlegate8, It is good you tried to kill any larva present. Vista is such a great place to grow palms. If you want a grand statement you might consider a Caryota . But beware they get really big. Some people who put them in regret the choice . I happen to like the Parajubaeas and they like Vista and grow pretty fast but I fear the palm Weevils will target them. 
Sorry for the grand palms going down. 

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