Deficiencies In Palms

We reviewed palm tree infestations and diseases last month. This month, we will be focusing on palm tree nutrient deficiencies. Palm trees can also suffer from nutrient deficiencies just like people. Many people are aware that soil found is, as most soils in Florida, “sandy soil”.

The soil lacks nutrients/micro-nutrients which serve as natural palm tree fertilizer. Better Tree Service and Consultants offers a variety of tree services and can lend its expertise in palm tree care, despite Florida’s poor soil.

Let’s look at some of the most important nutrients that palm trees require in our region, how they are affected, and what we can do to fix them.

Nutrient Deficiencies

* Potassium – The most common nutritional deficiency in palms is potassium deficiency. The symptoms will vary depending on the species. However, they are more common in older fronds. This deficiency may manifest as yellow/orange-like necrotic streaks, yellow/orange-colored spots, discoloration, and death of the tips. The tips of the fronds may be dying or dead, and the lower fronds could become brownish-tattered. This can lead to a Manganese deficiency. During a thorough assessment, our experts will be able to tell the difference.

* Nitrogen (N) – Palms that lack nitrogen can show symptoms like other deficiencies, like discoloration/yellowing. A nitrogen deficiency will cause the color to appear uniformly on the entire surface of the fronds, rather than in specific areas (like the tips). This is common with other nutritional deficiencies.

* Manganese – This deficiency is most common in new fronds/leaves. It is also commonly known as “frizzle top”. Ends of fronds may appear curled, crinkled, or stunted. They can also grow weak and chlorotic looking, with large streaking. Too alkaline soil can lead to manganese deficiency.

* Magnesium(Mg) This is another common problem for Florida palms. It’s characterized by a wide, yellowish-colored band at the edges of the leaves/fronds that has a green center. The yellowing may begin on older fronds, but can progress to the newer ones. This type of deficiency won’t cause death to the tree but it can affect its appearance. The dying tissue can cause the tips of the fronds to turn brown in severe cases. Mg deficiencies are most common in date palms.

* Boron Deficiency Although it is less common than some other deficiencies, it is still an issue for Brevard County palms. The symptoms can be seen on newly emerged palms, and continue to appear on the fronds as they age. It can lead to a crumpled appearance or severe bends in the tips. This condition is commonly called ‘hook-leaf’. Transverse translucent streaking and puckering can occur in the leaflets.

* Iron Deficiency The appearance of iron (Fe), can be described as interveinal or uniform chromisis in the newer leaves while older leaves stay green. New leaflets may develop necrotic tips, which can cause stunted growth. These symptoms may be confused with other issues in palm trees, particularly royal palm bugs damage. Both can cause general chlorosis of the spear and youngest leaves. We can help you distinguish between diseases, deficiencies, and infestations.

Once a palm is damaged on your property in Brevard County, it will not stop growing until the tree dies or is removed. A deficiency can be diagnosed and corrected. New leaves/fronds will emerge and the tree will become more healthy. Nearly all nutrient deficiencies can easily be corrected.

There are regulations regarding fertilizers. You can view information about the ordinances regarding fertilizers. Don’t be alarmed if you have any concerns about your commercial or residential property’s nutrient deficiencies. Call Better Tree Service and Consultants or complete our contact form. We are looking forward to working together and finding the root cause of your palm tree problems.

This article was written by a professional at Better Tree Service & Consulting. Better Tree Service and Consultants are family owned and have been in the Tampa bay tree service industry since 2004. They have over 15 years of recorded excellence and first-rate service and it’s something we are proud of. Better Tree Service and Consultants’ arborists have been certified by the ISA (International Society of Arboriculture). They are not only exceptional in hard work and dedication but also have the knowledge and experience to ensure that you get the best customer service possible.


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