3 Diseases to Look Out For on Your Palm Trees

Living in Australia, you are extremely lucky to be able to see palm trees all around you and even to plant them in your own garden. By planting palm trees in your garden, you can create your own tropical paradise right on your own property. What's more, palm trees are extremely low maintenance so you don't have to be especially green-fingered for them to take centre stage on your lawn.

You should, however, pay attention to your palm trees in order to look out for nasty diseases that could affect their growth. Here are some diseases to look out for:

Ganoderma Butt Rot. This is a white-rot fungus that can wreak havoc on a palm tree from its base. Unfortunately, by the time it is recognised, the tree cannot usually be saved. You will be able to spot this disease because mushroom-like growths will appear at the base of the trunk – but by this time the trunk will already be rotten on the inside and your palm's life will be over. Before the palm tree topples over by itself, be sure to contact a tree lopping company so that you can have the tree safely removed. Ensure that all of the roots are removed as well so that none of the disease remains to infect other trees in your garden.

Sooty Mould. This one is easy to spot because sooty mould shows itself via streaks of black powder along the palm fronds of your trees. This fungal disease is caused by insects that eat your plant leaves and excrete a honeydew residue that this particular fungus likes to feed on. Fortunately, the fungus doesn't attack the plant, it just eats the honeydew – so it's unsightly but not dangerous. You can spray the fungus off with a strong hose and remove the insects with an insecticide.

Stem Bleeding Disease. This is a disease that affects coconut palms in particular, and is caused by a soil-borne fungus. You will notice stem bleeding disease because of a black stain that appears at the base of the tree trunk, and a cavity may also develop beneath the stain. If caught at an early stage, a tree service company will be able to scrape out the rot and treat it with fungicide. If, however, stem bleeding disease is found at a late stage, tree lopping and removal might be necessary. Once removed, nothing should be planted in the same spot to avoid repeated contamination from infected soil.