Sick Sylvester Palm could have been saved

I was disheartened to see this palm when I went for a follow-up inspection. It resides in Corey Lake Isles in Tampa and is one of dozens of palms that need proper fertilization practices and other preventive care.

I had given this palm one complimentary injection after planting it, and this picture was taken several months later. Injections of antibiotic are needed quarterly to maintain sufficient levels of oxytetracycline (OTC) throughout the palm tissue to best prevent spread of this phytoplasma bacterium.

Sick sylvester Palm and death may have been prevented with proper care

palm that died of Texas Phoenix Palm Decline after antibiotic injections were not continued


My next observation after exiting my truck was the lack of live roots at the base of the tree. This time of the year there should be an abundance of new root growth on all palms of this family. The only live roots were observed directly below the injection site where the residual effects of the previous antibiotic injection remained. See injection plug about two feet above the ground level?

Great example of the benefits of proper preventative care for sylvester palms

Last injection site for antibiotic seen about two feet directly above last live roots.

If we were contracted to continue treatment and Palm care we would have injected the opposite side of the trunk the following quarter. The next two quarters would have also been opposite sides from each other and a residual effect from previous injections would overlap providing resistance to the spread of this bacterial infection. Unfortunately some folks do not take this upkeep seriously until a palm is in the latter stages of decline when it is not able to be saved.

Prevention is key!

Quarterly injections maintain levels that should be adequate to stop the spread of bacteria if it’s carried to your palms by insects.

Prevention costs much less than expensive removal and replacement of palms! Call me.  — Pete

Have a comment or question?

  1. Louise R. says:

    Sad that some people just don’t care about their own landscapes.

  2. PalmBoss says:

    PalmBoss cares for your palms so that you do not have to. There is a lot to learn about proper palm care, and most people could use a professional for this service which will protect your property value by keeping the palms healthy, lush, and green, not tired and yellowed.

  3. Bill Kearney says:

    Hi Pete , we have a Sylvester that’s not looking to good do you service Cape Coral? If not do you know somebody who does? Thanks. Bill Kearney. 201-396-4721