PalmBoss® is a palm health service founded in Tampa by Florida native Pete McKay to improve the health of Florida’s landscape palms.
Pete is a landscape designer and the Operations Manager of ERW Landscape, with over 16 years of experience in many aspects of landscaping. The McKays have a passion for palms and a strong desire to create positive changes in Florida’s landscapes.
Beyond our mission to improve the health of Florida’s landscape palms, one of our long-term goals is to discover and introduce new and exciting varieties of palm for Florida-friendly landscaping. Over fifty palm types are in our trial gardens, and many show great promise!
Improved biodiversity in a landscape lessens the incidence of widespread blight. The Irish potato famine and the American ‘dust bowl’ are both examples of man-made ecological disasters arising from the usage of monocultures (meaning one plant).
In Florida, we had a virtual palm monoculture with almost all non-native palms being coconut palms until the 1970s.
Lethal Yellowing is a phytoplasma disease related to Texas Phoenix Palm Decline (TPPD) that wreaked havoc on the coconut palm population. In the aftermath, Florida had a few more palm varieties introduced, but three types still dominate the landscape.
Queen Palms, Washingtonia Palms, and members of the date palm family (Phoenix Palms) were recent introductions to Florida and have become very popular.
PalmBoss® is preparing to introduce another group of palm types that perform well in Florida and are cold weather-hardy. We hope that you will team with us to improve the health and beauty of the palms in your landscape.