Florida palms suffering from Lethal Bronzing

  • Wednesday 21, August 2019 02:31 PM
Sharjah 24 – Reuters: Palm trees in Florida are under severe threat from a condition known as Lethal Bronzing Disease, an illness that can kill the trees in months.
University of Florida researchers detail the condition as being caused by parasitic bacteria and spread by common sap-sucking insects.

Brian Bahderm, an assistant professor at the University of Florida, explained to the Miami Herald that Lethal Bronzing is transmitted through the saliva of sap-sucking insects when they feast on the palm's leaves.

Lethal Bronzing occurs when the bacteria known as phytoplasmas, multiply in the bottom of the tree and "clog the circulatory system." This build-up creates a blockage, resulting in the tree being starved from sufficient nutrients, giving it the tell-tale shade of bronze leaves.

Researchers from the University of Florida identified four more palms that are susceptible to the disease; the Pindo palm, Carpentaria palm, Coconut palm, and the Chinese fan palm, bringing the tally now to 16.

They also state that Lethal Bronzing has spread statewide to include eight new Florida counties, with tens of thousands of palms already dead as a result.