Need help with palm trees? Meet the UF/IFAS experts in Orlando, Feb. 25

ORLANDO, Fla – There is a team of University of Florida scientists ready to take on your palm tree woes.  

On Feb. 25, the team will be in Orlando for a Palm Short Course at the UF/IFAS Extension office in Orange County, located at 6021 S. Conway Road. The program runs from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and provides breakfast and lunch at the cost of $150 for the day. Registration is required. 

A view of the palm tree farm at UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center Photo courtesy Lourdes Mederos

“Our Palm Short Courses are a chance for homeowners, landscapers, growers and land managers to meet the complete Palm Team based at UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center,” said Mica McMillan, assistant professor of palm horticulture at the center. “We cover all aspects of palm growth from diseases to grading. We will also discuss the future of palm research at UF. We are committed to making UF the leading global resource for palm research.”  

Palm trees are a Florida staple in Florida landscapes and an important ornamental plant in the state. For the nursery and greenhouse sector, palms alone account for annual sales of approximately $400 million in Florida and well over $1 billion in the US, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).  

As beautiful as they are, some palm species are vulnerable to pests and diseases. Issues can also arise when palms are planted incorrectly or in nutrient-poor soils. These problems can lead to yellowing of leaves, early fruit drop and even death. 

Dr. Brian Bahder atUF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center palm farm-during last year’s course with attendees. Photo courtesy Lourdes Mederos

“There is a science to growing palms and managing them in the landscape,” said Hannah Wooten, a commercial horticulture agent at UF/IFAS Extension Orange County, hosting the event. “There are also new diseases and phytoplasmas capable of killing a plethora of pricey palms. People are often surprised to learn that nutritional issues are one of the biggest reasons palms decline.”  

Topics and speakers include: 

  • “Palm Lethal Decline Phytoplasmas and Their Vectors in the Caribbean and Southeastern United States” with Brian Bahder, UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center 
  • “Diagnostics and Management of Fungal Diseases of Palms” with Braham Dhillon, UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center 
  • “Common Nutrient Deficiencies in Landscape Palms and Why” with Kimberly Moore, UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center 
  • “Upcoming Palm and Ornamental Research: An Overview of Alternative Fertilizer, Amendment, and Irrigation Sources & Their Effects on Palm Species” with Mica McMillan, UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center

“It is our hope that attendees will know whom to direct their questions and that we are accessible,” said McMillan. “We want them to know where we are with the current and future focus of our research. We also want to hear from attendees on what they think we are missing in our research to meet their needs.” 

For information on the program, contact McMillan at  


By Lourdes Mederos, 

The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS brings science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents.  @UF_IFAS 



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Posted: February 14, 2022

Category: UF/IFAS

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