The Q&A Archives: Sego Palm

Question: What is wrong with my Sego Palm? Yellow fronds for approximately 6 months and now base of plant oozing jelly like substance (like pitch in a tree).

Answer: Without seeing the symptoms first hand I can only venture a guess. There are two diseases which can produce an oozy, gummy substance. Ganoderma sulcatum is the fungus responsible for Butt Rot of palms. The spores of this fungus enter through wounds at the base of the tree made by lawn mowers or weed wackers. The lower leaves turn yellow and die; the new leaves are stunted. Another possibility is a bacterial wilt caused by Xanthomonas. In the final stages of the disease, this bacterium causes gummosis (oozing of thick, sticky material). There are no controls listed for either problem. Before you remove the sickly palm, get a professional to inspect the tree and make recommendations. Best wishes with your palm!

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