Palm tree killing disease taking a toll on trees in Tampa

City will try to save pricey palms

TAMPA BAY - A deadly disease that invaded Florida in 2006 is on now taking a toll in Tampa.  

You may have driven by a stand of sickly looking palm trees between Ybor City and Channelside.  The City is going to try to help them, but it may be too late.  And replacing them will cost between five and eight thousand dollars per tree.

Greg Bayor, Director of the Parks Department says his staff knows about the eight diseased palm trees on the Nick Nuccio Roundabout in Ybor City.

They've been diagnosed with Texas Phoenix Palm Decline, so named because the bacteria  is  likely spread by an unknown leaf hopping insect that came from Texas and first affected Phoenix Palms.  

The symptoms include a browning of the leaves starting toward the bottom and a dropping of any fruit the tree may be carrying.

There is no cure, but local tree doctors offer injections of an antibiotics that can beat back the symptoms. The city will starting injecting these trees in two weeks.

"It's going to be one to three months before we know if the inoculation worked or not. If it doesn't work, we'll replace them" said Bayor.

Beside Phoenix Palms, TPPD is attacking Canary Island Date Palms and the native Cabbage Palms.
It costs about fifty dollars per tree per year for the medication which is a lot cheaper than replacement.

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