A few of our prize winning palm trees have come under attack and the palms are dying.
If you are lucky enough to own a Bismarck, Pineapple or Sylvester Palm this article is for you!
The Bismarck Palm is native to Madagascar off the coast of Africa. It was introduced to Florida in the last 20 years and has established itself well. Its rapid growth rate and distinct grey foliage have made it a staple in many of our landscapes. This palm provides a beautiful focal point to our landscape and has proven to be cold hearty.
The Pineapple Palm is native to the Canary Islands. This palm has been in Florida for a long time and is considered to have adapted well enough to be considered naturalized. Watch out for the thorns if you are pruning it due to the tips of the thorns containing a poison-like substance. This palm is also cold-hearty.
The Sylvester Palm is native to India and was introduced to Florida many years ago. Its fruit is used to make wines and jellies. Keep clear of its thorns.
Often the Sylvester and the Pineapple get confused for one another. The Sylvester is typically a bit lighter in color and should have a denser canopy of fronds.
Boring insects affect all palms but in the last few years we have all been noticing their preference to these 3 palms. If you have any of these in your gardens you know the aesthetic appeal and the value they hold.
Boring insects are beetles that fly into the canopy of the palms. The beetle burrows in and deposits the next generation of eggs. Once these eggs mature, a grub-like worm emerges and it begins to devour the heart of the palm tree. Symptoms only become visible when sufficient damage has taken place. By the time the “grub” is done eating the palm is doomed and we hear the palms are dying.
Prevention is the only opportunity we have to keep these palms protected from these invasive insects. 2 treatments per year with a systemic insecticide should keep these palms upright and beautiful.