Florida’s palm trees ganoderma butt rot is a deadly new disease.
A fungus instigates it, this disease attacks the butt or base of palm trees up to around four feet. The condition was first noticed in Florida in the late 90s. In just a few years, it has spread to affect palms all over the state. It can’t be said for sure that there are many types of palm trees unaffected by Ganoderma butt rot.
Ganoderma zonatum fungus typically gets into a palm tree via a wound at the tree’s base. The fungus then starts to quickly work its way through the tree’s bottom, virtually destroying the wood. Once the fungus has gotten to the tree’s surface, it creates a fruiting body conk which is a whitish, spongy mushroom-looking growth which develops to form a horizontal disc going out from the bark.
The main symptoms that can be seen are mild to severe wilting of either just the bottom leaves in the canopy or all the leaves, early death of the oldest leaves or an overall decline of the palm. There is also off-color foliage, despite proper fertilization as well as slow growth.
Sadly, there is presently no real treatment for Ganoderma butt rot. When the conk has gotten to the bark, the tree is dead and requires tree removal service. While the wood above the butt can be mulched, use great care when getting rid of the butt wood as not to spread the fungus to other trees. Cover the wood in plastic and get rid of it by taking it straight to a landfill or burning it. Make sure to disinfect all tools and use extreme care with your gloves and clothing, Florida palm trees & Ganoderma butt rot are a bad combination.
While there is no real way of stopping Ganoderma butt rot infestation, the harm can be diminished by not damaging your palm tree trunks. This means being careful when doing work in your yard such as mowing the grass and gardening. If you believe a Ganoderma butt rot infestation is on your property, call a Tampa arborist for advice.