Joliet Tree Service

Palm Tree Diseases & Infestations

Palm Tree Diseases & Infestations

Trees can get sick and catch illnesses just like people can! In the same way that you or a member of your family is aware of the signs of a cold, trees also show signs of sickness. Once these signs have been identified, the tree can be treated and given the required attention. In some cases, it might be decided that the tree is dangerous, in which case tree removal is required.


In any event, our knowledgeable staff and Certified Arborist can offer assistance in resolving any problem or illness that is affecting your palm tree(s). In the case that we are unable to save your tree, we will describe the suggested course of action.


Why do my palm tree’s fronds seem yellow?

A tree disease known as Lethal Yellowing was first identified in the Caribbean and has since slowly migrated north, now affecting trees in areas like Illinois. The term “lethal yellowing” refers to the coloration that develops on palm fronds and the following drooping of fronds, which finally causes tree death. The lower fronds show the first signs of yellowing, which progress to the crown. It’s possible to see a single frond called a “flag leaf” in the center of a palm tree’s crown if you look in that direction. If the flag leaf turns yellow, there is a significant and possibly inescapable risk of the tree dying.


A bacterium (phytoplasma/bacteria) that causes lethal yellowing is carried by insects called leafhoppers. As they feed on a diseased palm, the disease is ingested, allowing it to spread and infect the following palm they feed on.


While symptoms can differ from palm to palm, they often grow in severity. The inflorescence, or cluster of flowers that eventually turns into coconuts, may brown or darken as the initial indications before yellowing emerges. Lethal yellowing cannot be cured, but if detected early, treatments can keep it under control. Date and coconut palms are among the trees most commonly impacted by deadly yellowing, although many other species are also susceptible.


Infestations on palm trees

Rugose Whiteflies That Spiral – The rugose spiraling whitefly is a significant problem for mostly palm trees but also affects other plants. It is a relatively recent infestation that first emerged in Illinois about 20 years ago. Beginning in southern Illinois, this lawn pest has moved northward toward Joliet, Illinois. A sticky, shimmering liquid material (excrement), which is left behind after the whitefly uses its needle-like mouth as a straw to suck the nutrients from palm trees and other host trees, is sure evidence of infestation. Black sooty mold breeds in the substance known as “honeydew,” which then creates a thick covering on leaves and fronds. You will observe growing dieback of fronds/foliage once this has occurred.


Sadly, leafhopper infestations, rugose spiraling whiteflies, and deadly yellowing are just a few of the diseases that can afflict palm trees on your personal or business property. In addition to aphids, caterpillars, mites, borers, scales, and other insects, your palms may also become infested.


The general health or deterioration in the health of your palms is influenced by a variety of factors, so it’s critical to work with a team that has the experience and an expert arborist on staff. The Joliet, Illinois-based Joliet Tree Services offers the knowledge, abilities, and tools necessary to identify and address a wide range of palm tree health issues. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us right away if you’re worried about the health of a tree on your property.

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