palms have dead limbs - Knowledgebase Question

Escondido, Ca
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Question by dstyles
January 27, 2011
Hi I have in the last 6 months noticed that my palms have dry dead areas on the limbs the rest of the branch is green and health but a few leafs are dead and dry, there not the dead type that die as the palms get bigger but dead areas on the tops of my palms, I have several king and multi king palms and they are all the same am I watering too much I have a drip system and water 3x a week??

Answer from NGA
January 27, 2011
What you describe sounds like a leaf spot or blight. The difference between a leaf spot and a leaf blight concerns the degree of leaf blade damage. In general, as long as the spots are discretely separated from each other by green tissue, the disease is referred to as a spot. When these spots occur suddenly and merge together to form a larger mass of diseased tissue, the disease is referred to as a blight.

There are several causes. Palms under water stress or with poor nutrition are more likely to develop this fungal disease. A deep watering once or twice a week should be sufficient for your palm and you should feed with a specialized palm food 3-4 times a year (as recommended on the fertilizer package). Try to keep water off the tops of the leaves whenever possible to prevent splashing the fungal spores onto the healthy leaves. You may be able to protect the unaffected leaves with a fungicide (one containing chlorothalonil, iprodione or mancozeb). Be sure to apply according to label directions. Best wishes with your palm trees!

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