Cabbage Palms and Date Palms hit by Disease New to Area

I found an article that might be of interest to local home owners. It seems Texas Phoenix palm decline (TPPD) has been confirmed in Lakeland:

The first clue is an excessive amount of dead lower leaves; more than what is normally seen with aging (senescence) or nutrient deficiencies. The second clue is death of the spear leaf, prior to death of all other leaves in the canopy. Eventually, the palm canopy will collapse around the trunk as the bud decays. — Naples Daily News

Officials believe the phytoplasma pathogen that caused problems with the Texas Phoenix palm may be affecting cabbage palms. They feel it will be easier to detect the problem in natural areas, or palms with “relatively large canopy.”

For an extensive account of the disease’s process and how you can check your palms see the article at

Remember that cabbage palms die or appear unhealthy from a variety of problems: lightning, nutrient deficiencies, over-trimming, deep planting, insects, other diseases such as ganoderma butt rot, herbicides (roadside vegetation management) and fires (natural or prescribed burns). Only palms with the symptoms described above should be sampled for lab analysis of this new pathogen.