It’s important to regularly check your landscape for any potential issues or diseases that palms may have developed. Many people put off calling a landscape provider when they see something wrong because they think the issue will go away on its own. That’s not always the case. If you notice a change in landscape on your property, call a professional who can help you discern the next steps. Learn how you can avoid palm disease on your property below.

What is Lethal Bronzing Disease (LBD)?

Recently there has been some media attention about a palm disease named Lethal Bronzing Disease (LBD) formerly known as Texas Phoenix Palm Decline (TPPD). This disease is fatal to susceptible palms and has been on the rise lately in Florida over the last few years.

The disease is transmitted by an insect that will feed on plant sap.

Symptoms will include premature fruit drop and death of flower stalks. Lower fronds will then turn a bronzish color and brown starting at the leaf tips, progressing upward into the canopy very quickly. It is not uncommon for palms to turn completely brown within a few weeks of initial symptoms. Susceptible palm species include, Sylvester, Medjool, Canary Island Date, Senegal Island Date and Sabal palms. 

There is no cure for LBD.

Antibiotic trunk injections with oxytetracycline (OTC) every 3 months can protect healthy palms and may suppress disease if administered in the very early stages. If injections are stopped, palms may develop disease and die. 

Mainscape recommends quarterly injections on all susceptible palm species mentioned above except sabal palms.

Sabal palms are inexpensive palms to replace compared to Sylvester, Medjool and Canary Island date palms. Below are the susceptible palms as well as what the symptoms look like on an infected Sylvester palm. 

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