by Steve Tanaka, ISA Certified Arborist, No. FL-5306A, Tree Division Manager
The homeowner was more mad at himself than anything else, having let Palmetto Weevils kill his prized pineapple palm. His words came out like an unintended eulogy: “It was such a nice-looking palm. I remember planting it myself and watching it grow into this beautiful specimen. It was the kind of tree that stood by you, you know what I mean?”
What the man failed to do was notice the early signs of full-blown Palmetto Weevil infestation, which include 1) decline of the younger fronds, and 2) drooping of the older fronds during initial infestation stages to where they eventually collapse.
And by collapse, I mean your affected pineapple palm will look like a melted-out candle.
So I offered words of comfort. “Let us install a new one for you, and this time, make sure you follow proper maintenance procedures, including trimming, fertilization, water management and preventive treatments. We can help you with that.” I knew the prized palm would be missed, but in the right time, the homeowner would have another one to admire and care for.
If you own Pineapple or Bismarck palms, know that these species are susceptible to Palmetto Weevil damage and see that they get proper care. Treatment is difficult after initial symptoms have appeared, and the liklihood of tree death is almost inevitable.