Yucca leaves yellowing / drying / dying - Knowledgebase Question

Asutin, TX
Avatar for schampeny
Question by schampeny
October 17, 2005
I have a yucca tree in my backyard that has not been looking good lately. I'm not sure what kind of yucca it is unfortunately but I do know it is not the brevifolia nor the thompsonia variety. It looks kind of like those though but it has larger leaves and they are greener than those varieties. The leaves are very spiky and straight and they shoot upwards from the top of the plant. It has no leaves on its twisted trunk. Right now the leaves are turning yellow at first, then they turn a light brownish and they dry out. Eventually the leaves just start drooping and I have had to cut quite a few of them. It seems like it's getting worse and almost all the leaves are affected. Could it be getting too much water? Or could it be something else? I really want to try to save it, as it is quite large (about 6-7 feet) and it is a very striking tree. Any ideas? Thanks.

Answer from NGA
October 17, 2005

Too much water is indeed a possibility but is easy to fix by simply cutting back. It is also possible that the plant has been attacked by some type of stem boring weevil. Check around the base for signs of soft and/or rotting stem tissue (especially near the base). If you find such contact your County Extension Office about what to do. Basically it will be difficult to save that stem but you may be able to reroot it and side shoots may soon emerge which could be protected from future attack by periodic treatments.

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