Have you heard about this? A new disease is causing a decline of cabbage palms (aka sabal palmettos). Tampabay.com has written a story on it, but UF/IFAS has also sent out an alert.
Here's the alert from one of the UF/IFAS plant pathologists:
"Sabal palmetto (cabbage palm) in Manatee County has been diagnosed with a lethal phytoplasma disease. Preliminary lab reports indicate that the phytoplasma that causes Texas Phoenix palm decline (TPPD) is also causing the decline of the cabbage palms. A pdf has been posted on the FLREC web site.
This is going to be an extremely difficult disease to diagnose early in the disease process. Overtrimmed palms and improperly fertilized palms in the landscape will show many other symptoms that will be unrelated to this disease. Even palms in natural settings have nutritional symptoms that will be unrelated to this disease. In other words, there are various reasons why cabbage palms will not be green all the way to the bottom of the canopy, and those reasons may have nothing to do with being infected with a phytoplasma!"
A great article has been written about the disease.
What a sad way for one of our trademark Florida plants to go. DPI is already working on it, but it's going to be a long process.