Ganoderma, an unpreventable affliction, is a white rot fungus that produces numerous enzymes that allow it to degrade woody tissue. As the fungus destroys the palm wood internally, the xylem (water-conducting tissue) will eventually be affected. Therefore, the primary symptom that may be observed is a wilting, mild to severe, of the fronds. Other symptoms are described as a general decline.
The fungus is spread primarily by the spores produced in the basidiocarp (conk). The spores become incorporated into the soil, germinate and the hyphae (fungal threads) then grow over the palm roots. The fungus does not rot the palm roots, it simply uses the roots as a means of moving to the woody trunk tissue. Removal of the palm is recommended and, because the fungus can remain in the soil, planting a new plam in the same location is not recommended.
Royal Palm Bug
This small arthropod feeds on royal palms which are native to Florida and Cuba. The females deposit eggs in the spring and they hatch in 8 - 9 days. The palm bugs feed on freshly opened leaves causing scattered yellow spots on the lower leaf surfaces. As feeding continues, leaves develop brownish streaks and wilt. Damaged leaves eventually become gray and tattered.
As the lower fronds drop off, the damaged fronds become more evident. If left untreated, eventually all the fronds will look brown and tattered and they will be smaller than normal. Royal palm bugs rarely, if ever, kill palms but their damage is unsightly and deleterious to the palm's health.
Fusarium wilt is very host specific - primary hosts are Queen palm and Washington Palm. Symptoms normally appear first on the oldest (lowest) living leaves then progressively move upward in the canopy until the palm is killed. Palms often die two to three months after initial symptoms are observed.
This disease is tranfered from palm to palm usually through unsteril pruning tools. Tools should be cleaned and sterilized between each palm trimming.