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Palm Leaf Property Management Tampa – A Canary Island date palm tree on Bayshore Boulevard in south Tampa is dying from a disease called deadly bronze. A disease known as “lethal bronzing” is killing palm trees native to Florida, turning their shrimp brown, making it impossible for them to recover. OCTAVIO JONES | Times

The stretch of Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard that winds around Hillsborough Bay is flanked on both sides by one of Florida’s most iconic plants: palm trees.

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Some are tall and pointed, with necks so long and thin that it seems impossible they could support the whole head. Others have verdant green limbs extending around short trunks.

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A few trees stand out among the canvas of lush palm trees. Their leaves are sickly light brown.

Local forester Richard Bailey offers a prophetic warning: These palms are dying. There are also many more in the Tampa Bay area and throughout Florida.

Samuel Thomas spent his childhood looking at trees. Growing up in rural Virginia, he spent many days walking in the woods with his grandfather and learning to identify many different types of trees.

When Tom first moved to the area to attend the University of Tampa about six years ago, he felt the state’s identity intertwined with palm trees.

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“I have continually noticed an increase in dead or dying palm trees, many in the city or right next to highways,” Thomas wrote in the Times in late May. “They sit as eyesores for months before they are removed and sometimes replaced.

“Has anyone noticed the dead palm trees growing?” he wrote. “Unfortunately, no one I know notices.

A Canary Island date palm tree on Bayshore Boulevard in south Tampa is dying from a disease called deadly bronze. OCTAVIO JONES | Times

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The disease that afflicts these trees, deadly bronze, is named after the color it turns the diseased leaves, a brown that gradually moves to each leaf until the entire tree dies.

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According to Brian Bahder, associate professor of insect vector ecology at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, the first described case of lethal bronzing occurred in 2002. in Texas. However, this disease was first identified in Florida only in 2006.

The disease starts with a small insect. Aptly named plant hoppers feed on tree sap and inject their saliva into its tissue through “needle-like mouths,” Bahder said. When a plant feeds on an infected tree, it becomes a carrier of the disease.

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When a plant feeds on a healthy tree, the disease is immediately transmitted. And just like that, a quick feeding process turns a healthy tree into a sick one.

Scientists first noticed a disease consistent with lethal bronzing when dying palm trees sprouted in Texas in the 1980s, Bahder said. Florida was already used to deadly yellowing, a palm disease that originated in Jamaica and spread throughout the Caribbean. The disease has lingered in South Florida, primarily affecting the Florida Keys and Miami-Dade, but has largely remained there, affecting coconuts the most.

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At Norman De Lapouyade’s residence in south Tampa, a palm tree affected by scaly parasites can be seen on its leaves. OCTAVIO JONES | Times

But these trees in Texas looked different. When scientists tested them in 2002, they found that bacteria is not the same as fatal yellowing. At the time, the disease was named Texas Phoenix Palm Decline because it was thought to only affect Phoenix or date palms in Texas.

Until 2006 researchers found that the disease had spread to other parts of the country, including Florida, where it was centered in Hillsborough County. Since then, the deadly bronze has spread across 31 Florida counties as far north as Duval and as far south as Broward.

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Scientists are still trying to determine how the disease moved to Florida. But they do know that it was first spotted in Hillsborough.

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Chart showing how since 2008 Deadly bronze exposure has increased in the state of Florida. Photo by Brian Bahder UF/IFAS from the Deadly Bronze Disease paper.

When a tree is infected with deadly bronze, symptoms begin slowly. First, the tree will drop fruit prematurely. If there are flowers on the tree, they will slowly die and eventually the oldest leaves will turn brown. There is no chance that the tree will survive when the spear leaf or the youngest palm leaf is diseased.

“Lethal bronzing is different from lethal yellowing at the molecular level,” Bahder said. “When it hits the palm, it always kills.”

How many trees have died after Florida’s palm populations were hit by deadly bronze? It’s hard to quantify, Bahder said.

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“I’ve heard that some growers have lost entire palm groves and they’re losing millions of dollars as a result,” he said.

Currently, there is one solution: every three to four months, pump intact trees full of the antibiotic oxytetracycline, which can be used to treat human acne and rosacea.

A date palm with visible injection holes is regularly treated to prevent diseases that are susceptible to disease-killing parasites. OCTAVIO JONES | Times

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The problem with this solution is that it is expensive and not permanent. It costs $50 per palm four times a year to have a forester like Richard Bailey inject your trees. If you have more than one palm, you are quickly spending hundreds of dollars to prevent your trees from contracting a disease they will never get.

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Can there be a cure? Previous studies of lethal bronzing showed that pumping a liter of “pure” antibiotic into the palms was enough to reduce the effects of lethal bronzing. But this is not a reliable solution.

Richard Bailey is the kind of person who can look at a tree, point to its branches, and immediately pronounce its Latin name.

“Phoenix roebelenii,” he says quickly, pointing to a short palm arching out of the ground, its brown spiky edges breaking into drooping green leaves. “Pygmy Date Palm”.

Thursday, 2019 June 13, forester and arborist Richard Bailey consults with client Norman De Lapouyade about palm tree care at his home in South Tampa. OCTAVIO JONES | Times

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Bailey spends his days going from house to house inspecting the trees. It’s almost like he can diagnose by sight.

Bailey was recently at the home of Tampa resident Norman de Lapouyade and toured a yard that could rival a rainforest. De Lapouyade asked Bailey to look at the three trees at the back, which are close to death.

While there, de Lapouyade asked Bailey for his opinion on this or that tree. Bailey had one recommendation: plant a variety of species. He turned his attention to the areca palm.

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Thursday, 2019 June 13, forester and arborist Richard Bailey consults with client Norman De Lapouyade about palm tree care at his home in South Tampa. OCTAVIO JONES | Times

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“This is my story,” he said. “I don’t see us ever curing this disease. It’s here and probably here to stay. So how do we do it?

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A Bismarck palm tree native to Madagascar is located at Norman De Lapouyade’s South Tampa residence. OCTAVIO JONES | Times

The city of Tampa has the same problem. They currently spend about $9,000 to graft 300 trees every four months. Next year, the city will have to invest more money in the program, said Eric Muecke, manager of urban forestry for the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department.

Muecke calls the tree grafting a “proactive” step by the city. After symptoms of fatal bronzing appear, the tree has only a 10 percent survival rate, he said.

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About 140 palm trees have been planted annually in the city for the past three years, he said. But as deadly bronze becomes more common in palm species, Muecke said it’s difficult to maintain the tree population that Floridians expect in their yards.

“We have to rely on diversity when it comes to replacement because the diversity of our tree population makes it resilient to things like insects, disease, even rebounding after storms,” ​​Muecke said.

When Bailey first saw a tree years ago infested with what he thought was deadly bronze, he knew it was something serious.

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Since then, he’s watched the deadly bronze take down his clients’ trees, his neighborhood’s trees, and the trees that line one of Tampa’s most upscale streets. Since the disease does not spread from tree to tree, but from insect to insect, it is randomness that makes it difficult to combat.

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“It’s a horrible disease,” Bailey said. “There’ll be one here, one there, it’ll come back and take one or two, then it won’t bother you for a year or two, and another one will come along.” It doesn’t move in big waves and kill everything as it goes – that’s even worse.

When he recently lost a palm tree at a client’s home on Harbor Island, he was on his way home from work

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Halo, Saya adalah penulis artikel dengan judul Palm Leaf Property Management Tampa yang dipublish pada October 4, 2022 di website Smallcave

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