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A "certified arborist" looked at the tree (>20ft high) and determined that this was the cause. Some of the fronds in the tree seem frozen in place, while most have actually drooped down completely (but not fallen). The arborist said that it was a lost cause, but I wanted to get other opinions.

Also, what are the odds that this pathogen will spread to other nearby palm trees?

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1 Answer 1

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Unfortunately, there is no known cure or treatment for a tree infected with this pathogen, which appears to be a strain of the fungus Fungus oxysporum. It is thought to spread to other palms on the wind and on pruning tools:

• Infected palms die quickly, often within a few months of the initial symptoms.

• There is no cure once a palm is infected, and no preventive fungicide treatments are recommended.

• The disease is probably spread by wind into new sites. Once established, it could also be spread by pruning tools. Pruning tools should be sterilized after each palm is trimmed.

• Palms, especially queen palms and Mexican fan palms, should not be replanted into a site where a palm with this disease was removed.

• The disease is tentatively called Fusarium decline of palms. The fungus Fusarium oxysporum appears to be the pathogen.

Fusarium Decline of Queen Palms and Mexican Fan Palms in Florida

Prompt felling would seem to be the only way forward if you are to minimize the risk of the infection spreading to nearby trees. The above article includes detailed advice for sterilizing pruning equipment, and there is additional information about the disease here:

Palm Tree Diseases and Treatments

Fusarium Decline of Queen Palms

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