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Ganoderma Tree Disease

 

Ganoderma butt rot is a relatively new and lethal disease of Florida palm trees. It is caused by a fungus, Ganoderma zonatum, which invades the base or butt of palm trees up to a height of three to four feet above the ground. The disease was first discovered in Florida in 1994 and it has spread to infect palms throughout the State. At this time, it cannot be said with certainty that there are any palm trees resistant to ganoderma butt rot. The ganoderma zonatum fungus most often invades a palm tree at the base of the tree. The fungus then begins to rapidly work its way through the tree’s butt area essentially rotting the wood. Once the fungus has worked its way through the center of the tree to the surface, it forms a fruiting body called a ‘conk’, a spongy, whitish mushroom-like growth which grows to form a horizontal disc extending out from the bark. Once you have observed the conk on a palm or have a palm cut down or fall down for any reason, monitor your palms at least once a month. Also, monitor the entire neighborhood, not just your yard. These spores blow with the wind, so it should be a community effort to reduce the spread of the spores of this lethal fungus.

 

Treatment

 

Unfortunately, there is currently no effective treatment for ganoderma butt rot. By the time the conk has appeared on the bark, the tree is effectively dead and must be removed to prevent the tree from falling and to stop the spread of spores. While the wood above the butt area can be safely mulched, use extreme care when disposing of the butt wood in order to avoid spreading the fungus to other palms.

 

Removal

Please take the following steps for the proper removal of your infected palm:

 

1.      Obtain a no-charge Tree Removal Permit from the Village of Tequesta Building Department

2.      Call 811 to make arrangements to mark your utility locations.

3.      Contact a licensed tree removal service.

4.      Prior to cutting down the palm, remove the conk, bag it and place in a trash receptacle that will be incinerated or delivered to a landfill. Do not place in trash (greenery barrel) that will be recycled into the landscape. It is recommended by Waste Management that you have your tree removal service handle the removal of the infected palms. You’re required to remove or grind the stump anyway, so save yourself the time & backache and make arrangements for them to haul it off for you. Ask for a receipt to be sure the tree was taken to a landfill and not just dumped somewhere where it will continue to spread spores.

5.       If you do it yourself, please use the following guidelines: The infected lower portion of the palm (normally 4-5ft) needs to be cut up and placed into plastic bags (to prevent spores from getting air borne) and put at the curb for a “regular” pickup. The part of the palm that was not infected (above 4-5 ft.) can be cut up and recycled with your greenery. If there is a large amount to be picked up, contact Waste Management at  772-546-7700 for a special pickup. The tree stump(s) must be removed upon tree removal by stump grinding or pulling it out. The tree stump hole must be filled with soil or soil and mulch mix to match existing grade. Any palm material left behind will be a host for the fungus. Sterilize all tools and even be careful with clothing and gloves. DO NOT plant another palm in the same location. Spores will be left in the soil and will infect your new palm and kill it.

 

Let’s be proactive and work together as a community to help prevent additional losses of palm trees by taking this seriously and dealing with it appropriately.

Ganoderma Tree Disease Example

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Lighted Medians to Recognize Specific Causes

Our Public Works Department has started illuminating the median on Tequesta Drive near Cypress with colored lights in recognition of various causes. January the median was pink in support of "Breast Cancer Race for the Cure." February will be red in support of "American Heart Month." This is our small way of bringing attention to important causes and hopefully raise awareness. Click here for the full list of causes and colors that will illuminate the median throughout 2017. For more information, contact Public Works at 561-768-0482.