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Department of Natural Resources issues report on caring for Coconut Palms impacted by cold

By Staff | Apr 12, 2010

Along city roadsides, at parks and in residential yards, the impacts of the extended period of cold weather this winter to the tropical coconut palm can be observed throughout the island. Most of these trees are damaged but will survive.

City of Sanibel Natural Resource Director Robert Loflin, PhD, advises all Sanibel property owners that if there are any even small areas of green on any fronds at the top center of the tree, the palm has a good chance to recover.

The dead fronds on these trees can be trimmed safely without causing further damage to the tree only if none of the fronds with any green remaining are cut or trimmed.

If there is no green whatsoever on any frond then the tree is dead and should be removed if located in a place where it could injure someone or damage a structure or vehicle if it falls.

This cold weather damage to coconut palms should not be confused with lethal yellowing disease and there is no need to inject the tree to treat this. Lethal yellowing is a bacterial disease spread by leafhoppers that has been a problem on the island for over 25 years. However, all coconut trees here are now either proven to be resistant by the fact they survived the infestation, or are naturally resistant varieties that have been planted more recently.

Please do not hesitate to contact the City of Sanibel’s Natural Resource Department at 472-3700 if you have any questions regarding the coconut palms on your property.

Source: City of Sanibel