Palm trees are commonly seen in California, making some think about the tree-lined streets of Hollywood, or sitting by the pool somewhere. These tropical or subtropical trees are beautiful and varied, with many different types of palms, each adapted for different growing conditions and each with specific disease-causing pathogens that can attack it.
Palm trees, like other plants, are susceptible to pathogens that can weaken or even kill the tree. Diseases such as diamond scale, pink rot, Fusarium wilt, and others can reduce the leaf canopy, discolor leaves and trunk, and cause distortion, stunting or death.
If you have palm trees or care for palms as part of your work, it's important to identify and know about these diseases and maintain healthy trees so they don't succumb to these potentially lethal issues.
Learn more about disease identification, selecting the right palms, and management for palms in UC IPM's recently updated Pests Notes: Palm Diseases in the Landscape by Donald Hodel, Environmental Horticulture Advisor with the University of California Cooperative Extension, Los Angeles County.
What's different in this version? Many new photos have been added along with a new section with information on petiole and rachis blights and tips to maintain healthy, vigorous palms.