A comprehensive new online resource for diagnosing palm problems was released late last year:
A Resource for Pests and Diseases of Cultivated Palms: Symptoms of Diseases and Disorders
The authors of this multi-agency initiative are all from UF/IFAS (University of Florida/ Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.)
Designed for non-experts, this tool enables the user to make a preliminary field diagnosis based on visual symptoms alone. As you enter observations into the key, the system narrows down the possible causes. When you click on one of the remaining diseases (such as ganoderma butt rot), disorders (like a nutritional deficiency), or insects (perhaps the palm leaf skeletonizer), the related fact sheet is provided.
You can also access the fact sheets directly and learn about palm anatomy from the handy illustrated glossary. The site contains instructions for using the tool, information about when and how to confirm the field diagnosis with a laboratory analysis, and a long list of references.
This new tool is only part of a larger site, A Resource for Pests and Diseases of Cultivated Palms:
Already up and running on that site is a similar tool, the Screening Aid to Pests:
Future upgrades include a palm ID tool and palm pest screening tools for beetles, scale insects, and mites.