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Thread: What killed this Washingtonia Palm

  1. #1
    TreeHouser Sponsor ClimbMIT's Avatar
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    Default What killed this Washingtonia Palm

    Mark Tournier
    20 hrs
    Wondering what killed this Washingtonia Palm Tree?
    Location:
    These trees are located in Southern Louisiana. They are in the backyard that faces the North. The tree that is dead is on the Southern side of living tree. There is total of five Palms trees in this location that surround a goldfish pond.
    History:
    Pond was there when palms were planted. Approximately 1 1/2 years ago the liner to Goldfish pond was replaced. The reason for replacement was due to the old one have a leak. The new liner that was installed also wrapped around dead tree covering some of the root system. (See second picture) Besides the installation of the new liner No excavation had been done in that area since trees were planted.. While visiting my friend who lives nextdoor in Spring I noticed the palm had in question only had a few green fronds at the top that wasn?t as green as the other fronds on trees next to it. By early summer the tree appeared to be dead with only a couple of fronds still standing. the Smith?s told me they noticed it dropping dead fronds excessively within a couple weeks to a month in July.
    Observations:
    While taking soil samples (which I haven?t sent off yet) I noticed the liner to the pond had been installed around the dead tree. The liner wasn?t quite choking the tree but it was within 6 inches of the base. This is a waterproof liner. Also Ms Smith was wondering about white splotches on bark which is circled in yellow.
    Weather history:
    Last fall/winter only had approximately 4 or 5 freezes around 30 degrees F with long periods of above normal temps in the 80?s. This summer was One of the wettest on record.
    Anyway sorry this is so long and thanks in advance for any help!



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  2. #2
    Rodent Aviator Sponsor Skwerl2's Avatar
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    There's a bug or blight that has been taking them out around here for the last 5-10 years. The others will eventually die the same way as well. See the yellow tips on the fronds of the others?
    -Brian

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    Island Girl Sponsor vharrison's Avatar
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    My question is who cares, those palms are trashy and messy. 20 years ago every grower in South Florida had a field of them because they grow like weeds and they could turn them into money in a short amount of time. Now, no one grows them.

    No bug or blight down here that I know of, just chain saws taking them out!!
    I am umbilically connected to the temperate zone, it brought me life, it brought me love I never have out grown.

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    TreeHouse Administrator MasterBlaster's Avatar
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    Is there a desirable palm???

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    Rodent Aviator Sponsor Skwerl2's Avatar
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    Not to me. They are all full of bugs and rodents.

    There is a bug that gets into the head of the Washingtonian palms and they burrow down into the head. Not sure if the bugs cause the blight or if the blight weakens the palms and makes them susceptible to the bugs, but in any case they go together and will both be present in the affected palms.
    -Brian

  6. #6
    Patron saint of bore-cutters Sponsor stig's Avatar
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    I like dates a lot, so I guess that makes date palms desirable to me.

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    TreeHouser Sponsor Limbrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vharrison View Post
    My question is who cares, those palms are trashy and messy.

    Nasty things are like a cross cut saw and being as careful as I can, still usually get bled by 'em.
    Ray
    In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. - Galileo

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    Acolyte of the short bar Sponsor Bermy's Avatar
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    Certainly the root zone of that palm had been interfered with...combine that with some of the other things you mentioned, frost excess rain and it could have made the palm susceptible to a range of bugs or disease that you have over there...

    I like Palmettos (Sabal bermudana in particular...) and coconuts, dwarf date...hate the big date palms and chinese fans, not keen on washies,
    Keep smiling, they will wonder what you're up to...

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  9. #9
    Treehouser Mellow's Avatar
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    Giant palm weevil is killing many Washies around the Tampa, Florida area.
    "The mind is the limiting factor." ~Robin Brown, aka Brownie

  10. #10
    TreeHouser sawman's Avatar
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    Dam those suckers grow fast uh?

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