Is the palm tree on your Kauai commercial property dying? Better yet, what does a dying palm tree look like?
Blunt questions, but ones worth asking. There are signs that palm trees are struggling, and if you catch palms before they decline severely you can save a very expensive tree from demise.
Help is on the way!
3 Signs Of A Dying Palm Tree On Kauai Commercial Properties
Here are three signs of a dying palm tree on Kauai, and what to do if you notice these symptoms on palms in your commercial landscape.
Stunted Center Frond
The center stalk is the growth point at the top of the palm tree, and if it appears stunted that is one sign that a palm tree is stressed. You may also notice this center frond turning brown.
There are a number of reasons for these symptoms, including insects, fungus, watering issues or lack of nutrients (fertilizer). You can think of this center stalk as the palm tree’s lifeline. If it is not thriving, your palm needs help fast.
Brown Bottom Fronds
This is not necessarily an SOS-palm situation in newly established palm trees that have just been transplanted. (The good news: This browning is not occurring in the palm’s “crown” center.)
Lower fronds that turn brown are showing stress from getting acclimated to your commercial Kauai landscape. They’re adjusting, and this can take time. So go ahead and clip those browning lower fronds to make room for new, green growth. And, be sure to fertilize and water the palm tree appropriately.
Browning bottom fronds on a new palm tree are not the sign of a dying plant; rather they’re an indication that the palm tree is stressed out and needs some TLC to get established in the landscape.
Wilting Or Discoloration
If you notice that palm fronds are wilting or show discoloration (browning), check your watering schedule and be sure the palm tree is getting enough moisture. Watering is a common culprit in palm tree decline.
Next, determine whether the palm tree is receiving proper nutrients. Some commercial properties will attempt to save their budgets by cutting back on fertilization programs, but this comes at a cost. Palm trees need fertilizer during the growing season.
Skimping will result in a sick tree.
Insects are a constant problem on Kauai, so we suggest regular pest control checks in the landscape to keep watch for any unusual growths on palm trees. These can occur when pests take up occupancy in a palm.
Can A Dying Palm Tree Be Saved?
If a palm tree is stressed, and the signs you notice include wilting or discoloration, going back to plant healthcare basics can help revive the palm and restore its health. We are always amazed at the results achieved from a regular fertilizer program, proper watering and insect control.
Palm trees need food, water and protection from pests to thrive—and if you can deliver those basics to the palm tree, you will keep it in good health for decades. As with any plant health care issue, address stress signs immediately for best results.
Don’t wait until a little problem becomes a systemic issue. (We’ll get to that below when we address that center frond.)
How To Save A Dying Palm Tree
The crown stalk, or center, of a palm tree is its lifeline and houses the vascular system of the tree. It pulls nutrients up from the roots—and you know how far up those nutrients must travel. Palm trees can grow more than 100 feet tall. If the palm tree is not producing new growth on top, or if that crown stalk is struggling, you know the palm tree’s vascular system is under duress.
So, what can you do about it? Can your palm tree be saved? One method is to give the palm tree a vitamin bath remedy that can be applied to the palm tree’s base. The idea is that the palm tree will soak up these vitamins and begin to repair from the systemic feeding. A landscape professional can advise an appropriate vitamin bath to try.
Not All Dying Palm Trees Are Worth Saving
How old is the palm tree—and how long has it been struggling? Where is it located on your property? These are questions to consider when a palm tree is very sick.
You may wish to remove the tree, which can cost up to $1,000 for a 90-plus foot palm tree, or in the neighborhood of $400 for a tree that’s 30-feet or so tall.
Keep in mind, removing palm trees is a labor-intensive job that requires expertise and specialized equipment.
But sometimes, removing the palm tree is the best choice because treatments and basic plant health care regiments will not be enough TLC to revive the plant. A commercial landscape professional can help you make this decision.
Proper And Professional Palm Tree Care Is The Ultimate Cure
You know what they say about an ounce of prevention. The same applies to plant health care. By properly watering, feeding and monitoring pests on palm trees, you can keep them healthy and living long and strong for years to come.
Let’s talk more about how to care for your Kauai property’s palm trees and what to do if you suspect a problem. Call us any time at 808.335.5887, or fill out this simple contact form and we’ll get in touch with you.
Image: Palm tree underneath