• Deadly palm disease spreading throughout Northeast Florida

    By: Dani Bozzini , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A deadly disease that's killing hundreds of palm trees throughout Florida is called lethal bronzing and it's killing not just one but several species of palm trees.

    Danny Lippi, a certified master tree arborist, explains, "Right now, there are 15 different species that it attacks and it is lethal and one of those unfortunately is our sable palm, which is our Florida state tree." 

    Lippi tells Action News Jax it's the newest and arguably the most dangerous palm disease in Florida.

    "It's all over Jacksonville, it's all over Gainesville, it's definitely down in the Daytona area but where we are seeing it the most is in new developments that buy a lot of new palms, especially Sylvester palms." 

    It's also starting to pop up in St. Johns County. Since this disease was only discovered in 2006, there's still a lot of research to be done, including the insect that's spreading it. Local arborists at least know how to spot it.

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    "When all of your fronds start dying slowly over a period of weeks and it starts progressing up and then it finally kills her growth sphere, that's bad and that's signs of the disease." 

    Unfortunately, once a palm contracts lethal bronzing, it has to be pulled because it can spread like wildfire.

    "You have to get it out of there, because the longer it stays, the longer it multiplies, it starts spreading to other palms," Lippi said. 

    He says the best way to prevent lethal bronzing from spreading is to only buy palm trees from reputable nurseries that know exactly where the trees are coming from. 

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