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Our apartment in Tenerife has palm trees surrounding it and these trees are continuously dripping a brown gummy substance, we presume from their leaves, onto our tiled floor.

We are informed that this is normal for these trees - is this the case?

  • Welcome to the site! What kind of palm trees are these, and can you post pictures? Thanks! – J. Musser Oct 17 '14 at 21:31
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The only cause of dripping 'gummy' stuff is usually an infestation or bacterial infection. Pest infestation such as Palm Scale particularly can cause dripping of sticky stuff, but if the dripping is coming from the trunks and not the leaves, that's more likely to be a bacterial infection. If its that, you should be able to see evidence of the problem because the trunk/s will show obvious signs of something oozing and dripping downwards, often with a dark area running all the way down the trunk where the ooze travels downwards. Otherwise, if the palms are small enough, inspect leaves and stems to see if there's an infestation - it may be that this happens every year and people just live with it, so it's become 'normal', either out of ignorance or because the problem is quite difficult to treat in very tall palm trees. If you can't see the leaves and stems because they're too high up, you need to wrench or cut off a leaf for inspection purposes, or consult a horticulturalist or whoever deals with that kind of thing over there.

The only other possibility, and its a fairly remote one, is that the trees have been 'tapped' in order to make Palm honey, but this is now a rare practice and I believe is only done in one area of Gran Canaria, so it's not likely, and you would have seen people climbing the trunks in order to carry out the tapping.

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