Using Facts: Tips For Communicating With Young Minds During A Global Pandemic

BELLE GLADE, Fla. – During this unique time in history, it is important to stick to the facts when speaking to one another, and especially the young minds of today.

This useful infographic was prepared by Megan Mann, County Extension Director in Lake County, Florida

“The world’s greatest leaders and progressive thinkers have always used the power of words to transform our emotions to help inspire others toward their vision and create actionable change. From Winston Churchill’s focus on the “finest hour” to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s depiction of a “dream,” it’s evident that words shape our entire existence.”Tony Robbins

Tony’s words are a reminder to remain mindful of our communication in a time of uncertainty through choosing to focus on what is certain.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published Talking With Children: Tips for Caregivers, Parents, and Teachers During Infectious Disease Outbreaks as a useful resource for how we as adults can assist the youth of all ages experiencing this global pandemic alongside us. Additionally, Dr. Heidi Radunovich at the UF/IFAS Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences published a brief presentation on Managing Stress During A Pandemic in which she provides meaningful data, strategies, and techniques for people of all ages.

4-H believes in equipping youth with the critical life skills essential in being successful in pursuing their goals and aspirations, one of which is effective communication. Studies show youth today will learn from and reflect the behaviors exhibited by trusted adults during this trying time.

Tips For Communicating With Youth

  • Be Positive

Doing so will reinforce the value in youth that the healthiest course of action when facing a hardship, is to find a positive. Are several events canceled and youth forced to stay home? Several 4-H Programs (Including our own) are providing At Home With 4-H series’ designed to provide fun hands-on learning activities to keep youth active and mentally engaged.

  • Avoid Speaking From Emotion

A perhaps inaccurate comment spoken when you are angry or upset might be taken as truth by an individual trying to deal with the uncertainty on their own end.

  • Be A Good Example

We are fortunate to influence young people who will deal with their own hardships in life. How we deal with our own hardships will serve as an example of how they will deal with theirs.

Ultimately, UF/IFAS believes in the power of knowledge and practicing wisdom in unprecedented situations. Your UF/IFAS 4-H program in Palm Beach County is here for you during these difficult times, and we want to know how we can help. If interested, please visit our Palm Beach County 4-H Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube pages to remain up to date on the latest information and resources.


Posted: March 24, 2020

Category: 4-H & Youth, Clubs & Volunteers, Health & Nutrition, Home Management, Relationships & Family, UF/IFAS Extension, Work & Life
Tags: 4-H, Communication, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Global Pandemic, Palm Beach County, Palm Beach County 4-H, Parenting, Youth


Roland Samuelson
January 24, 2022

I believe that I have LVN in my swale grasses. How do I confirm this with an expert? Which nurseries in PB County offer Palmetto as a replacement? Thank you, Roland

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January 24, 2022

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January 23, 2022

Yes! Finally something about online pharmacies.

David Gempel
October 10, 2021

These blogs should be removed if they aren't going to remain current.

David Gempel
October 10, 2021

How does one get a current schedule. 2021 / 2022

September 22, 2021

I've maintained my Floritam lawn in North Palm Beach for over 20 years with little to no issues. 3 years ago I was out of town for business for 3 months and reluctantly contracted with my neighbors lawn service for that time. About a year later I noticed my neighbors lawn weeding up and dying off. Not soon after I noticed similar issues in my own lawn. My neighbor told me he had sugar cane mosaic (LVN)and was going to have to replace his lawn. He ended up doing so with St. Augustine Palmetto. Over the course of the next year and half my lawn slowly died off as well. After sending samples and confirming with UFIFAS that I too had LVN, I set off to find the best replacement. I read up extensively on every kind of cultivar including Citra Blue. I even had correspondence with Dr. Carrie Harmon. Like this article, her suggestion was there was not enough known yet about Citra's response to LVN and the recommendation was Palmetto. Several landscapers I spoke with were also stating that unless you wanted to put down zoysia, Palmetto was the only alternative. I gave in and replaced my entire lawn with St. Augustine Palmetto 11/25/20. It was the worst mistake I have ever made. The grass is extremely high maintenance. I've had brown patch, grub damage, stress in one form or another. I've spent more time and money trying to get it going in one year than I spent in 20 with Floritam. I'm almost one year into barely having the grass established and it is starting to look similar to the Floritam when the virus was at its beginning. I have a very knowledgeable crew that treats my lawn. The owner stated that Palmetto has been a nightmare for his crew in all the lawns that had LVN and replaced with the Palmetto cultivar. I hope the outcome for Citra Blue is successful and I can kick myself for not going with my gut and using it knowing what I know now about Palmetto. Please update or feel free to contact me if you learn more.
September 15, 2021

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September 10, 2021

Hello, I have a huge beautiful Bismarck on the back recently got flower stalks that turned black and rotted. Palm still looks healthy. Is it possible for anything else to kill the flower stalks besides lethal bronzing?

تمريض منزلي
August 1, 2021

i found this article very interesting, thanks for sharing this info

M. H. Sklueff
May 23, 2021

What are conks on the palm tree?


November 12, 2020

Hi Jeffrey: Unfortunately, despite claims by some otherwise, there is no treatment for lethal viral necrosis in Floratam St. Augustinegrass. The grass will die no matter what the treatment within 3 years of the symptoms being noticed. Soil amendments, fertilizers, etc. will only provide temporary improvement, if the turf is not too far gone. The only long-term option is replacement with another cultivar of St. Augustinegrass or another selection like Bermudagrass, Bahiagrass or Zoysiagrass. Sorry - Bill

November 11, 2020

Hello Dr. I am a golf course Superintendent in Boynton Beach and we have residents that have this Mosaic disease. This members yard is only one year old and they are very frustrated with the look of their grass. They decided on floratam because they removed all the large trees in the yard and wanted a nice large open like back yard. When notified that they had the disease they immediately wanted to find a cure. But after researching it seems as though we don't have a cure. their lawn care taker is obviously perplexed as well. Has anyone come up with a virucide, fungicide treatment? My question has anyone tried Command sand treatments? Would this help the grass? I would appreciate any news to help this poor homeowner as they have a lot of money invested. Jeff Klontz SR.

Maria K Haugen
October 29, 2020

Me too, sadly my Brother's prized 22 year old mature Canary Island in his front yard died. I kept treating it every six months (for the beetle infestation) for the last two years, despite a 20% chance of life. It has a few semi-green fronds on it still alive, but it's never going to re-generate new growth. I will have to remove it, it breaks my heart further as it started to die the same month my Brother suddenly passed away. So now I have lost both. Am now getting ALL my large palm trees treated 3 times a year, yet in reading this post discovered that I also need to treat my two multi-trunk pygmy date palms, will have to add those also! Best of luck. So sad to lose these stunning trees all over. Maria from Manatee (East) County, near I-75 & University Park.

Paddy Richer
October 17, 2020

Hi, I'm a Master Gardener in Eugene, Oregon and my daughter who lives in Boynton Beach Florida is asking me questions about installing her new ornamental garden there. Of course, I haven't a clue about what to tell her except call your local Master Gardener. I haven't been able to find a phone number to give her so I'm hoping you can supply me with that contact info. She has a bit of gardening knowledge based on years of hit-n-miss gardens, is disabled to a degree, and tells me she lives in Zone 10 A. I would like to send her the number because if I ask you to contact her directly your call may come at a inconvenient time for her. It would be wonderful to provide a contact number for her.


September 23, 2020

No, foxtail palms are not currently on the lethal bronzing susceptible list. As with the previous question, nutrition would be my first question. Palms are among the most needy of supplemental fertilization among our landscape plants, and foxtails are among the most needy of the palms. The symptoms could be indicative of manganese or boron deficiency. Additionally, bud rot may cause similar symptoms.


September 23, 2020

No, royal palms are not known to get this disease. The test would be a waste for this palm. The two main issues with royal palms are royal palm bug, which has been heavy in some areas this past spring, nutritional deficiencies and occasionally thrips.

September 15, 2020

I have three foxtail palms, two of which have recently started to look like they are struggling. This week, I noticed that the upper fronds are bending down and a couple are turning brown. We just had an ornamental and palm pest guy out here that said it may be LB. Are Foxtails on this list now?

Linda Burke
August 7, 2020

Are Royal palms known to exhibit this disease? We have had a landscaper come in to estimate on a different tree who says that one of our Royals is showing the first signs of this, ie fruit drop. We are in south Broward County. Tree is 20 + years old. How would we go about getting a test?

Nancy Vrechek
July 2, 2020

Thanks great tips we can use.


June 15, 2020

Hi Danny: Unfortunately the insect vector of lethal bronzing is widespread in Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean. We will have to see if lethal bronzing behaves like a related disease, lethal yellowing does. That is, cyclical with times you can hardly find it, followed by times where it seems to be everywhere. And as you touched on, the native sabal palm is one of the most common palms lethal bronzing affects. Our hope is that the current research being conducted down at the UF/IFAS Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center will come up with some useful strategies to slow the spread of this disease. The COVID pandemic slowed research considerably, but efforts are under way to catch back up. Issues we are hoping for answers to are can we manage the insect vector to slow the disease spread, and what levels of antibiotics, if any can protect the palms. The next year should provide some of those answers.

Danny benton
June 13, 2020

Do you think if left unchecked we will loose most or all of the affected palms?.... especially the iconic sable palm this is so sad to watch. I just started noticing the dead sables a few months ago here in central Florida....and every day it seems. To be more and more are infected


June 8, 2020

Hi Pamela: Generally, unless you have extremely valuable susceptible palm species, and a ton of money, it does not make sense to inoculate unless you have evidence of LB nearby on the property. Current research, unfortunately has been slowed by the COVID situation. However, so far antibiotic injections are not recommended for palms that test positive for lethal bronzing. In fact, they are only recommend for susceptible palm species near one or more testing positive, but that test negative themselves. Even with this procedure though, we cannot yet say for certain that the antibiotics provide an adequate level of protection at labeled rates for any palms. It may be that the research will eventually point out that the antibiotics can help, but the rate may end up being higher than is currently legal. Sorry we are not more certain on this yet. Regarding the insect vector, they spend their entire life except as adults in the turf and soil under and surrounding the palms. Nearby water bodies are not likely to affect this beyond possibly a better growing environment for the turf. Again, with the delayed research, we are hoping some helpful insect vector management plans will be available in the near future.


June 8, 2020

Hi Vanessa: Yes, oaks like any large shade canopy tree can produce large diameter roots that will decompose and possibly leave some voids in the soil over time. After several years though, they should be mostly decomposed. Some fill soils tamped down in those soft spots should make your grade more uniform so you can keep a smooth lawn as you replant a lethal viral necrosis resistant sod on the surface.

Vanessa Paine
June 5, 2020

Thank you for this informative article. I don't know if my lawn maintenance people know about this, or if they clean their lawn equipment between yards (but I'm thinking, no). By the way, the section of lawn that has mosaic, also had a large oak tree removed several years ago. The lawn is now 'spongy' (due to rotting roots?) and I'm afraid to walk on it. Is there anything I can do about it? I do want to replace sod due to mosaic, but I'll need to do something about the unstable earth under it. Thanks for any tips you can give me (if you're still there!)

June 2, 2020

Thanks for sharing all of your experience

Daniel Gonzalez

June 1, 2020

Carol, Absolutely, and thank you for the positive feedback! UF/IFAS Extension is glad to help in whatever way we can. Respectfully, Daniel

May 31, 2020

Inspiring & practical guidance for youth, as well as adults. Particularly during this 2020 year of complex events. Thanks for sharing.

May 18, 2020

Our condo association in Naples is considering a preventative inoculation program of our many, many palms. It is very costly and ongoing. My question is: do we need inoculate when we have no evidence that any palms are affected? We are bordered on three sides by water. What is the likelihood of a bug carrying the disease landing on our palms? What is the current University of Florida ES advice regarding inoculation?


May 5, 2020

Hi Randy: The traveler palm is not a true palm, nor is it known to be susceptible to lethal yellowing or lethal bronzing. Foxtail palms also are not susceptible to either disease. Both should be ok to use where you are worried about either disease.

Randy Maggard
April 27, 2020

Hi Bill, Great thread here. We recently lost two palms to lethal bronzing. We were told they were foxtails when planted, but I don't think they were. Couple questions. We have a stand of traveler palms in the same general area. They look fine now, but are they susceptible? I did see your response earlier about treating the soil and replanting another no need to treat the soil, correct? And replace with something that is not thought to be susceptible...maybe a foxtail?

Benn Sither
April 21, 2020

Can you please send me information on how to obtain Tamarixia radiate? My sister just bought a new home in Cape Coral and is trying to grow key lime trees in her yard.

March 25, 2020

Fantastic article! Thats a great approach to effectively communicate during this trying time.

Carol Monteagudo
March 25, 2020

Great reminder our youth need opportunities to talk about the stress they are experiencing during this unusual time. Using programs offered by 4-H is another way parents can help youth stay engaged in positive activities.

March 24, 2020

Excellent article, each parent must read it.

Nelson Gonzalez
March 24, 2020

This is amazing advice for parents! This pandemic is not as easy situation, especially with youth. Most of the time, us parents catch ourselves speaking out of fear or emotion without being positive. This is an amazing reminder that as adults, we are role models to the younger generation on how to handle this situation.


February 24, 2020

Hi Jeff: Pygmy date palms are also susceptable to LB.


February 24, 2020

Hey Jeff: Imidacloprid would likely give some control on the plant hopper, but it would not stop them from flying in from surrounding areas. We hope that research this year will provide better answers on how these insect vectors might better be controlled.


February 24, 2020

Hi Lu: That is a bit of a tough one. The Fusarium that hits queen palms (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. palmarum) primarily hits queen palms, followed by washingtonia palms, and possibly "Canary Island date palm and the "mule" palm (× Butyagrus nabonnandii)" according to Monica Elliott, PhD, our former and now retired UF palm plant pathologist. Fusarium is known to have a spore stage that survives for years in the soil, but I would think any other non-host palm that does well in the Orlando would work in terms of the Fusarium. The obvious choices might be the sabal palm, but it is very susceptable to the lethal bronzing as are all the Phoenix palms. Other possibilities like the pindo, Chinese fan and windmill palms are all also known hosts for lethal bronzing. The native paurotis palm is not, though and may be a possibility if a clumping palm would work. A nice fact sheet on central Florida cold hardy palms is found at Also, may want to contact the commercial landscaping extension agent at your very excellent UF/IFAS Orange County Extension office for additional suggestions. However, if you have lethal bronzing in the area, there are not many cold hardy palm options as replacements.

February 15, 2020

Hey Christina. Being in the epicenter of the disease I would say stay away from any Phoenix species besides Pygmy. Sabals are very susceptible abs queens which also die from fungal diseases often. Foxtail and Royal my top choices they never seen to get it in my area. Even know Christmas as Bismarck on list I see Sabals and Sylvester dead all around living Bismarck and Christmas palms. King palms and solitaire are also good choices. King palms should be used much more in FL. Esp cunninghamia version as they tolerate low to mid 20s.

February 15, 2020

Thanks for responding. I wonder if applying imidacloprid around base/ roots of the tree would protect / stop the bugs from piercing the leaves thus stopping spread to palms. I know that insecticide is systematic.

February 13, 2020

Hi Bill, our tree guy has informed us that one and possibly all 4 of our queen palms are sick with Fusarium Wilt. I understand the spores continue to live in the soil. Assuming we remove one or more of the trees (3 of the 4 still look good), what kind of palms can we replace them with that would be most disease and pest resistant? The house is a good size, so we're looking for something with good height and full foliage - in Orlando. Thanks for your help!


February 11, 2020

Hi Jennifer: Email a clear picture or two to my email address, and I should be able to give you a better idea of what is going on, and what you can do about it.

Jennifer O'Leary
February 6, 2020

Hi Bill, I have a Washingtonia palm that my landscaper thinks has Lethal Bronzing, but, based on your blog comment above from July 2019, they do not believe that Washingtonia palms are affected by lethal bronzing at this time. I was looking at other areas of UF's website and my palm tree looks like it has leaf tip necrosis similar to the pictures showing examples of potassium deficiency (and the spear has "pencil tipped" like they describe as well). Is there anyway that I can test the palm to see if that it's and if it could possibly still be saved? Thank you!


February 4, 2020

Hi Robert: Please just be aware that the number of palm species that are shown to be affected by lethal bronzing is likely to increase as a greater spectrum of palms are exposed now that the disease is in Miami-Dade County. - Bill

February 3, 2020

I am so glad I ran across this article. I just purchased a couple Adonidia Palms and a couple Roebelenii Palms from Home Depot, and I've seen them in other big box stores. I was under the impression that they would be fine but now I'm not so sure considering the Adonidia Palm is also known as the Christmas Palm and the Roebelenii Palm is known as the Pigmy Date Palm. Fortunately, I have not planted them so I will probably be returning them and replacing with either the Areca Palm or Cat Palm. Not as stately but less prone to diseases. Thanks again for the information.


January 29, 2020

Hi Patti: It is hard to know exactly how far the disease can be transmitted. It is known that the planthopper vector can be carried long distances by wind. The current recommendation would be to treat susceptable palm species in the immediate vicinity of the lethal bronzing positive palm(s). Others further out could be treated, of course, but cannot really quantify yet how far that would be.


January 29, 2020

Hi Mark: Your thoughts are not proven or disproven by research yet. It is unknown if the OTC injection does anything more than a short-term delay in the death of the affected palm, no mater how early in the infection it is administered. This short-term delay has been demonstrated in some preliminary research at the Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center. Further research, of course, could change things. The temporarily delayed death creates a situation where infective palm tissue may remain green a bit longer, and potentially be fed upon by a vector that can then pass the phytoplasm on to another palm. This is obviously a risk, therefore we recommend immediate removal of any positively tested palms that still have green foliage. Additionally, it is not really know if OTC will adequately protect an uninfected palm when a an infective vector visits and injects the phytoplasma. Current OTC labeling only allows 3 gm per application. It may be that larger quantities do help, but this is not yet known. So, currently as a caution, our recommendations are to legally treat susceptable surrounding palms that are demonstrated as not infected, but not those shown by lab testing to be infected. Infected palms with green tissue should be removed. These recommendations should be more detailed and refined this year as Dr. Brian Bahder's team down in Ft. Lauderdale complet more of their research. Please stay tuned.

Mark Heaton
January 19, 2020

There seems to be some argument that once a tree becomes infected, it’s only a matter of time until it dies. Given that OTC doesn’t kill the bacteria, it just prevents it from replicating, wouldn’t it follow that a clean, disease-free tree, injected with OTC, can still become infected? In other words, there’s nothing to prevent the transmission of the bacterium into the plant by the vector. If this is true, then common sense suggests that an already infected tree can be successfully treated, and continue to live. If my thinking is right, then there’s a point of no return with the progression of the disease but if treated early enough, the tree can live, albeit with the disease. Would you agree?

January 17, 2020

Thank you for all of this incredible information! I have a Sylvester palm in Broward county that has lethal bronzing and I cannot believe how quick this tree went from beautiful to completely brown in less than a few weeks! I am having the dead tree removed and will be treating the other trees in my yard to try to keep them alive. Should my neighbors treat their trees for preventive care as well? Our neighborhood is full of Sylvester, canary date and coconut palms.


January 9, 2020

Re: Schall,William L. Jr. Creative Spaces ; ​Hi Sheri: You can get a copy of the testing proceedures at our website . Just put lethal bronzing in the search field. Yes, you can replant a palm in that area but it would be better to plant one that is not on the list of 16 susceptable species. We still do not know all of the palms that will eventually be identified as susceptable. Also, it will likely be toward the end of this year whether or not we even know if the antibiotic injections will help avoid the disease. The bacteria that cause the disease, called a phytoplasm can only survive inside the transmitting leafhopper insect and inside the palm, so there is no value in worrying about treating the soil or any of the surrounding area. Sorry the recommendations are so negative at this time. I'm hoping the research being conducted by Dr. Brian Bahder at the UF Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center will come up with some good solutions this year beyond just removing the palms. BTW, sylvesters are the species most commonly testing positive of all the palms. Please let me know if you need any additonal information. - Bill

Sheri B
January 8, 2020

Hi Bill, I'm a landscape designer in Broward who has a client with a Sylvester palm that died about a year after we installed it and it visually looks as if it succumbed to lethal bronzing. There are other Sylvester palms on the block that look in bad shape as well. I would like to get the palm tested to be sure. The homeowner would like a new one to replace it, though if the existing does end up having lethal bronzing can a new one be planted in the same place? Is there a way to treat the soil and/or treat a new palm prior to a new one being planted? Looking forward to hearing from you and thank you for such an informative post! Best wishes, Sheri B.


December 17, 2019

Hi Karen: Once all of the fronds, and especially the spear leaf are brown and dead, the palm is no longer infective. That is because the plant hopper that transmits the disease does not feed on dead fronds. Current research by UF's Dr. Bahder has demonstrated that the disease remains viable in palm trunks for several months or more after all the fronds die, but without the green fronds, it cannot be transmitted. To survive, the bacteria called a phytoplasa needs to either be inside the transmitting insect, or in a palm. Our recommendation is that, once you have confirmed a palm has LB, remove it immediately if it still has those green fronds. If all the fronds are dead, then you just need to remove it as safety (falling palm, etc.) dictates. As far as distance, wind can carry the disease carrying insect for some distance. We currently recommend that susceptable palms "around" infected palms be treated with antibiotics. However, we are not even certain at this time what level of antibiotics will protect palms that are not yet infected. Currently, we recommend that you follow the label. We should have much better recommendations over tne next year as UF research continues down at the Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center.


December 17, 2019

Hi Chris: LB has been in areas of Florida where Washingtonia palms are commonly planted, and no incidences of the disease have been found yet in that genus - or at least submitted to the lab with positive results. So, I would say LB in the two species of Washingtonia palms that are most common in Florida is unlikely. A more likely culpret is the Fusarium fungal problem that hits queen and Washingtonia palms. However, that being said, it whould indeed be helpful if you can talk one of those clients into letting you send a specimen in to the lab. As you probably know, we expect the list of susceptable species to expand now that the disease in palm species rich Miami-Dade County.

Chris Tillman
December 14, 2019

Hello just want to add my two cents. I trim Palm trees in Hillsborough county, lots and lots of Palm trees. I've read online where it's mentioned that Washingtonians are not susceptible to the bronzing. I'm not a betting man, but I think that species can probably be added to the list. We've seen a massive increase in palms displaying bronzing characteristics. Off course no home owner isn't going to pay to get them tested. Heck most of them won't even fertilize them. We've seen the usual dead washy due to lightning strikes but usually differentiate the bronzing ones because the fronds are literally bronze.

Karen Turnberg
December 7, 2019

How can we safely remove our palm that has died? What is the radius for potential infection?


November 21, 2019

Mr. Seabolt: Dr. Brian Bahder, at the University of Florida Research and Education Center, is conducting extensive research to determine what can be done about this disease. We hope to have better options available within the next year, depending upon the results of that research. Its probably too late to try and stop this disease by cutting down all affected trees. We certainly recommend that curently in managed landscapes, but it require confirmation via testing and then removal. The disease is so widespread at this point (in Mexico and much of Florida with a couple spots in between) that it is unlikely that all the affected sabals could even be found.


November 21, 2019

Mr. Barnes: I believe you may be thinking of Tree Saver - Web Page: Email: Phone: (561) 655-6940 Also, Winfield Solutions on State Road 7 carries equipment and supplies.

Everard George Barnes
November 11, 2019

what is the name of the tree saving inoculation company in Florida, Loxahatchee near WPB I believe

David Seabolt
November 10, 2019

Mr. Miller, I believe Florida and the southeastern states should quarantine the sale and shipment of Sabals and other palms that are prone to Lethal Bronzing. This is how it is spending. You see more dead trees close to the highways. Their also needs to be a task force that cuts down affected trees immediately. In my hometown in Okeechobee the Sabals are drying off one by one by most likely this disease. Many of those affected Sabals are at least 60 to 70 years old and some 100 years old. This is Florida’s state tree and our politicians are doing nothing to save them. It is going to hurt Florida tourism by doing nothing. Some people come to see Florida’s beauty. The abundance of Sabals in Florida’s landscape is what makes Florida unique.


November 6, 2019


November 6, 2019

No, Ganoderma is a currently untreatable fungal problem. Current recommendation is to remover the palm(s) and replace with non-palms. Sorry

Richard T Collier
September 25, 2019

Is there any indication that tetracycline treatment will help with Ganoderma in Robellini?

Claudio Cruz
September 21, 2019

Bill, First of all, thank you for putting together such a valuable article regarding this diseases affecting Palm lovers all over the US. Having said that, I have 2 Canary Island and 1 Phoenix Silvestri (which already died from a disease). I'm trying to save the 2 Canaries. However, I cannot identify which disease is affecting them. Could you be so kind to provide me your email so I can send you a picture of it? Thanks in advanced,


August 27, 2019

Hi Christina: Her is the list of those currently known to be susceptible to lethal bronzing: Christmas Palm, Bismarck Palm, Pindo Palm, Carpentaria Palm, Coconut Palm, Chinese Fan Palm, Canary Island Date Palm, Edible Date Palm, Pygmy Date Palm, Wild Date Palm, Fiji Fan Palm, Buccaneer Palm, Mexican Palmetto, Cabbage Palm, Queen Palm, and Chinese Windmill Palm. Your area is can get a bit colder than Palm Beach in the winter time, and as a result the list of potential non-susceptible palms you can use is smaller than further south. I suggest you contact your very excellent local UF/IFAS Pinellas County Extension office (email: or telephone: 727.582.2110) for guidance on suggested palms for your area.


August 27, 2019

Hi Larry: You are correct, according to Dr. Bahder who is conducting the UF research on lethal bronzing, coconut is now on the list of currently known to be susceptible palms. Here is the list: Christmas Palm, Bismarck Palm, Pindo Palm, Carpentaria Palm, Coconut Palm, Chinese Fan Palm, Canary Island Date Palm, Edible Date Palm, Pygmy Date Palm, Wild Date Palm, Fiji Fan Palm, Buccaneer Palm, Mexican Palmetto, Cabbage Palm, Queen Palm, and Chinese Windmill Palm.


August 26, 2019

Yes, the antibotic injection can be helpful with both lethal bronzing and lethal yellowing phytoplasm diseases (the Canary Island palm can get both) if the disease is caught and treated early enough.


August 26, 2019

Hi Barbara: Chances are that several years ago something other than lethal bronzing killed the sabal palm on that canal bank. Most likely at that time would have been lightening, bud rot, nutrient defeciencies or Ganoderma fungal trunk rot. Other things to consider are that the sabal is the state tree of Florida and is probably the most commonly used palm tree in the state. Additionally, it naturally grows in many of the natural areas in Florida. So, all of this along with our use in the landscapes underscores how important this disease issue is.


August 26, 2019

Hi Mary: I think some are and many are not aware of the problem. We are spending a lot of time trying to educate interested residents and businesses in Palm Beach County, also you may have noticed some recent fairly heavy media coverage. Another thing to consider is that people are sometimes willing to plant certain types of plants even if there are some potential problems out there. For example, just about every know palm with a trunk is susceptable to Ganoderma, a palm trunk rotting fungi. Yet palms are still an incredibly important and frequently used component in our landscapes. Hopefully, the word does get out and people can make an informed decision on which plants to install.


August 26, 2019

Hi Barbara: Fishtail palms are not yet known to be susceptable to lethal bronzing. However, they are susceptable to the very similar palm disease, lethal yellowing. We are not currently seeing any incidences of lethal yellowing in Palm Beach County, Florida, but we are seeing plenty of lethal bronzing problems. If lethal yellowing is the cause of the palm deaths, antibiotic injections may help save the one that is left, if it is not too far gone. If you email me a clear picture ( of the remaining palm, I will see if we can make an educated guess from that. Collecting a specimen takes a little know how, and costs $75 in lab fees. So, let's at least start with a photo or two to me. Also, as you probably know, palms can suffer from other problems that will kill them. These can include severe nutrient deficiencies, bud rots and Ganoderma.


August 26, 2019

Hi Ali: Best updated information source is the new University of Florida "EDIS" fact sheet located at The only real update to the information in my original blog is that the list of known palm hosts now is up to 16 species. This list will likely grow now that the disease is in Miami-Dade County where a much larger variety of palms will potentially be exposed to the disease.


August 26, 2019

Hi Chris: Best understanding right now is that the phytoplasm needs live tissue in order to survive. Also, the insects that feed on the infected palms and then spread the disease would not be feeding on dried mulch, sawdust or other similar materials.


August 26, 2019

Hi Liz: Please be aware that Sago palms are not really palms, they are cycads and are therefore not affected by either the lethal bronzing or lethal yellowing diseases.

Christina Coogan
August 24, 2019

What Palms do you recommend that are resistant to lethal bronzing in the downtown St Petersburg (9b) area..

Lawrence A Lentol
August 24, 2019

I'm seeing conflicting reports as to whether coconut palms - Lethal YELLOWING has already killed just about all (about 5 million) of the Jamaican Tall variety in South Florida over the past 50 years - are susceptible the Lethal Bronzing. Since the "talls" are pretty much gone, I'm thinking about the remaining dwarf-to-medium height palms that have somehow escaped Yellowing. Thanks, Larry

Pamela Mott
August 23, 2019

Will this antibiotic treatment help my Canary island palm? It's almost a landmark on my street!

Barbara W. Madewell
August 22, 2019

Hi, I noticed the Sabal Palms turning brown and eventually die in Western West Palm Beach along a canal and on the turnpike south of Southern Blvd. years ago and no one was concerned. I don't know if it was something else or LBD, however, more landscapers should be aware of this disease. I live in a community where the builder planted 3 Sabal Palms in front of many homes and I hate to think they will be affected, plus the cost of replacing up to a thousand trees.

Mary Duncan
August 21, 2019

Hi, it is truly devastating to hear that Sabal palms are on the Hit list. They are a part of Florida history. My question tho, with the other palms susceptible to the disease... developers and landscaping companies continue to incorporate coconut palms, date palms, Pygmy palms etc in their building plans. Are they not aware of the lethal bronzing?!

Barbara Brunner
August 21, 2019

I have 3 fish tail palms. 2 died in the last 6 months and the 3rd is now dying. I suspect it has lethal bronzing. Is there something I should do other than destroy it?

Ali V
August 20, 2019

What’s the 2019 update on this issue. I’m in Broward and need stories started to pop up yesterday evening.

August 19, 2019

Hi Bill, I’m hearing about ground palm beings sold as mulch also soil products using palm fines as fillers. Any chance Bronzing Disease could be spread systemically by one of these products?

Liz Dominguez
August 19, 2019

We have experienced the Lethal Bronzing here in Columbia County. My Sego Palm just dropped dead overnight. Thanks for your article. I will be passing the word here in Lake City area.


August 19, 2019

Hanks Ms Kelley: I received your email and photo and will take a look and respond to you directly via that email.


August 19, 2019

Thanks Mr. Mandro.


August 19, 2019

Ms. Holloway: Sorry to hear you may be losing the palms. Follow this link for detailed instructions on how to collect and submit specimens:

Mary Kelley
August 19, 2019

Hello, Bill. Thank you so much for your service. Above, Jeff wrote about the frequent death of Sylvester palms. I had one installed in January, and have noted the browning of fronds. I don’t know if some browning is normal or not. I have fertilized and applied Epsom salts. I would appreciate any incite. Mary

Bette Zubrod Holloway
August 8, 2019

We have an older (70 years) sable palm in Pinellas County(Indian Rocks Beach ) that we think may be dying due to Lethal Bronzing disease. Could you give us detailed instructions on how to get a sample. How to store the sample. A family member works at U of F, can she drop off the sample on Hull road? Thank you for any information. I am sad to see this tree that I grew up with dying.

Don Mandro
July 27, 2019

Appreciation to my father who informed me on the topic of this blog, this web site is genuinely awesome.


July 25, 2019

Hi Eric: The 3 gram treatment needs to be repeated every 3 months. If you use the same hole, be sure to drill it a little deeper before the second 3 month treatment. For following three month treatments, drill another hole. Just how long to continue is a judgement call. Typically once you start, it needs to be continued. The 1 gram rate is for smaller palms like adonidia or Phoenix roebelenii (pygmy date palm). It makes sense to use less for the smaller palms. The rate would be per trunk. For example, if the P. roebelenii or the adonidia are triples, then each trunk would need to be treated with 1 gram of OTC for 3 grams total.

Eric Hambsch
July 25, 2019

Just to make sure I understand. Treat a healthy palm one time with 3 grams of oxytetracycline, or do I need some sort of maintenance program for a healthy palm? What about a smaller multiple or Robalini palm, same 3 grams?


July 15, 2019

Thanks Donna: Please be aware that it is not a virus, but instead is a phytoplasma which is essentially a bacteria without a cell wall.


July 15, 2019

Hi Doug: The mosaic disease is not yet confirmed to be in St. Augustinegrass. Additionally, it is caused by a phytoplasma (bacteria without a cell wall), so fungicides likely would not be very effective. If you are asking about fungal diseases like large patch, take-all root rot, or gray leafspot that affect St. Augustinegrass, then we need to look at the specific fungal disease before fungicide recommendations can be made. Also, if you are not a professional pesticide applicator, most of the fungicides available to you are not very effective at minimizing lawn fungal problems. Your best shot is to try to properly mow, fertilize and water. I would suggest you contact your local extension office for the latest recommendations for lawn care in our area.


July 15, 2019

Hi Jeff: Yes, the disease was first spotted in your general area of the state in 2006. As you are indicating, thousands of palms have already been lost to lethal bronzing since then. We expect the number of affected species list will be expanded now that the disease has moved into Miami-Dade County where we find Florida's greatest variety of palms. Below, as of July 2019, is a list of the palm species currently known to get the disease: Christmas Palm, Bismarck Palm, Pindo Palm, Carpentaria Palm, Coconut Palm, Chinese Fan Palm, Canary Island Date Palm, Edible Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera), Pygmy Date Palm, Wild Date Palm (Phoenix sylvestris), Fiji Fan Palm, Buccaneer Palm, Mexican Palmetto (Sabal mexicana), Cabbage (Sabal) Palm, Queen Palm and Chinese Windmill Palm (Trachycarpus fortunei).


July 15, 2019

Hi Ms. Forster. Yes, lethal bronzing definitely affects Canary Island date palms. Loss of those vary large majestic palms is quite sad.


July 15, 2019

Hi Mr. Miller. No, currently Washingtonia palms are not believed to be affected by either lethal bronzing, or another similar palm disease, lethal yellowing.


July 15, 2019

Thanks Ms. Delucantonio for your comments. The problem, of course is that the disease was not here in Florida originally. It is believed to have arrived in 2006 from offshore, possibly via infected insect vectors (carriers) blown here by Hurricane Wilma in 2016. Also, remember that this disease kills our native sabal (cabbage) palms which covers all of Florida and up into the southeastern United States. If we lose many of those, it will have a huge impact on the Florida environment and the landscapes around our homes and businesses. The current treatment is not a genetically modified product, but antibiotics. Hopefully additional research will help us come up with additional, simpler ways to keep this very destructive disease from destroying sabal and about 15 other currently known palm species.

sallie rae delucantonio
July 10, 2019

just let nature takes its course i have grown three coconut tress form seed they have surviveid white fly funguse etc stop messing with nature if they die it is meant to be STOP adding genictic cures which just screws up the balance of nature thats why all these infections happen man has none this to many chemicals to nature just let it go

Oren Brenner.
June 15, 2019

Item posted Jun 12th, but date in text shows April 20th. Is there an updated date for this installment? Thanks.

Amber Shahzadi
June 11, 2019

keep sharing

Karen Bonney
June 10, 2019

Would you do a lecture for the garden Club of Stuart next March 9, 2020? We meet at IRC in Stuart Florida? I don’t remember any speakers in the last five years on roses and I think you’d be a big hit!


May 29, 2019

The Garden Talks series at the Acreage Branch Library in Palm Beach County is ongoing. We continue to meet every 3rd Saturday at 10AM and begin the program at 10:30. Come early to share seeds, stories and swap plants with the other participants. June 15th is our next meeting and roses will be the topic of discussion. Hope you can make it.

tim graf
May 25, 2019

are there any more of these scheduled soon?

David Miller
April 23, 2019

Are Washingtonia Palms at risk?

Gayle Forster
April 17, 2019

Now in Martin County as well. I just lost my Canary Date Palm to this disease this week.

April 14, 2019

The Sable and Phoenix palms are dying on massive numbers here in Palmetto fl. Seems like from northern Hillsborough to southern manatee the disease is getting outta control. And eastward through Lakeland. I drive a lots and am always saddened by the loss of the Sables. Seems like counties/ state doing nothing about it. Non of the dead dying ones are ever cut down. I see all these new developments putting in Sylvester palms they are always toast within 6 months. What a waste of money, plant something resistant please. Southern Pinellas county including st pete are getting destroyed by this disease too. I’ve seen a lot of queens palms with the disease too, although if taken care of in my experience they have more resistance then palmetto and Sylvester’s. The state planted Sylvester’s in northern manatee on I 75 Hillsborough by i4 and 275 in st pete. I’d say 90 pct of them are dead in 2 years. Why is state planting expensive susceptible palms then not removing them when dead and unsightly ? Plant royals yes the can get killed by the cold but least don’t catch and spread the disease further.


April 10, 2019

Doug: No fungicides are effective against this virus disease. In fact, the only control options currently are to avoid it, or replace the turf with a grass cultivar other than Floratam. - Bill

Doug Dimitri
April 4, 2019

What type of fungicide is best for Floratam grass?

February 27, 2019

A moth is attacking my avocado tree here in Palm Beach County. What can I do to treat this?

Jango Bhadha
January 31, 2019

How very appropriate!

Donna Torrey
January 23, 2019

This is great information. A virus like this can be devastating to our industry.


January 2, 2019

EDIS is the 1st place to look for any such information related to UF/IFAS Extension & Research. By using the key word search feature at you can find related publications. If you would like additional information or questions, please contact your local UF/IFAS County Extension Office or Master Gardener Help Desk.

Linda Kibler
December 29, 2018

Do you have any information on community gardens? How do you define the gardening season in Florida?


August 27, 2018

Dr. Rossi: Keeping lethal bronzing out of a palm collection would involve being diligent in looking for the problem. It may be that the disease has not been identified in your county yet. A late 2017 assessment by the Division of Plant Industry of submitted lab samples indicated the disease was from the Hillsborough to Volusia County corridor south. North of that, it has been identified in Levy, Alachua, Duval and Bay Counties in Florida. Once you have the disease on your property, immediately surrounding susceptible palm species should be treated with the oxytetracycline about every three months. Three of the commercial systems that are available are Tree Saver, Arborsystems and Mauget. All have websites where you can get a better look at the equipment. The Mauget system is self-contained, and therefore may end up being more affordable since you will not have to purchase the fairly expensive application equipment used with the other systems. Nozzel Nolen recently did a YouTube video on how they do it at: ...Currently, some developers in Palm Beach County are beginning to ask for susceptible palm species to be tested prior to installation. Taking specimens does injure the trunk though. As far as I know, there is not an effort to quarantine areas that have the problem. It is known to occur all the way from the Yucatan through Texas and the Gulf Coast states and into Florida, so it is quite widespread.


August 27, 2018

Alexander palms (Ptychosperma elegans) are not currently thought to be susceptible to either lethal bronzing or lethal yellowing. Die back is due to some other factor(s). Are you seeing any conks on the lower trunks. These are fan-like growth that indicate a fungal Ganoderma problem. If this is the problem, removing the dead trunks will not help. Can you email some pictures of the problem to me at ? - Bill

Theresa Galante
August 24, 2018

I have a beautiful triple Alexander Palm, but I fear it has fallen victim to the lethal bronzing. It appears two of the trunks have dead leaf spears. The third appears to still be healthy. If I cut the two dead trunks, do you think I can salvage the third and keep it healthy, or would cutting the two harm the third one? Thank you for any information or advice you can provide.

John Rossi DVM MA
August 22, 2018

Dear Bill, I read with interest and concern your article on TPPD, LB (phytoplasma) that is affecting so many types of palms. Up here in Northern Florida, the species you mentioned are all an important part of our cold hardy palm flora. Has it been seen in Northern Florida, and how would you prevent it from getting into a collection of palms? It seems that every day I see trucks loaded with palms heading north on I 95. Quarantine? Inspection? Also, being a veterinarian, I have access to oxytetracycline. Could you describe the device and technique for injecting a palm tree. I imagine that my 3 cc syringes with 20 gauge needles will not work, Thank you. John Rossi DVM MA

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