Ah, sunshine and palm trees … what’s not to love? Nothing puts you in a tropical holiday mood more than a palm tree or two, which is just one of the reasons so many Gold Coast and Queensland locals just love to have them at their place. But many of these same palm tree lovers can also look up in dismay to find their palm tree leaves turning brown. Is that palm tree dying? And if so, how to revive a dying palm tree is a common question asked of Queensland arborists.
Symptoms of a Stressed Palm Tree
Before we delve into reviving a dying palm tree, it’s essential to identify the signs of a stressed or unhealthy palm. These may include yellowing leaves, stunted growth, and spotting or browning of the fronds.
So let’s get to the bottom of this palm tree quandary by answering:
How to Revive a Dying Palm Tree
The reason for those palm tree leaves turning brown could be because you love it just too much. In other words: don’t overwater your beautiful palm. Remember, it’s not just about the quantity but the technique. Instead of frequent shallow watering, palms benefit from a deep soak, which encourages roots to grow deeper.
Tip: If you add some sand to the soil, the great drainage that results could just stop your palm tree dying from overwatering.
Another reason for your palm tree dying could be because it isn’t getting enough of the right nutrients. While cost-saving is essential, avoid the cheapest fertilisers. Palms particularly benefit from fertilisers rich in potassium and magnesium.
Tip: Invest in quality fertiliser specifically formulated for palm trees for best results.
While we’re on the topic of high-quality fertiliser, don’t add it too close to the roots because it could actually result in burning damage.
Tip: Add your fertiliser at least 50-60cm from the palm’s roots.
If it’s too late to find out how to revive a dying palm tree (ie. it’s dead already), get it right for your next beauty. Palms generally prefer slightly acidic to neutral pH levels.
Tip: At the point of sale, ask what the correct soil to use for your palm tree is in terms of nutrients and drainage. You could always ask your friendly local arborist for more tips about how to perfectly plant your beloved palm!
After noticing your palm tree leaves turning brown, don’t just cut them off as you could actually rob your sick palm tree of even more crucial nutrients.
Tip: Only cut off palm tree fronds if you’re sure they are dead.
6. Sunlight and Placement
Every palm species has its unique sunlight requirement. While most palms thrive in full sun, others might prefer partial shade.
Tip: Understand the sunlight needs of your specific palm species and ensure it’s placed accordingly.
7. Diseases and Pests
Often, the culprit behind a dying palm is a disease or tree pest infestation. Diseases like Ganoderma or Fusarium wilt can be lethal for palm trees.
Tip: Regularly inspect your fronds for signs of disease or pest damage. If unsure, consult an expert.
Storms are common in Queensland, and some palm tree lovers actually prune their palm trees right before bad weather strikes.
Tip: Don’t! While some think the reduced weight will be handy for those high winds, palm tree fronds actually play an important role in protecting the tree from the weather. For more advice, read our blog that asks: Are you ready for storm season?
If you notice your palm tree dying, it could be because of your pruning technique. Palm tree pruning is done best only by those with the right skills and experience, because it is so incredibly important to your tree’s health.
Tip: Consider giving Jez a call at JC Tree Services for expert palm tree pruning. He’ll do your palm tree assessment for free, and give you the absolute best advice and service based on three decades in the business.
9. Transplant Shock
If a palm tree has recently been moved, it might experience transplant shock, evident by wilting or browning leaves. In such cases, ensure it’s watered properly, and avoid heavy fertilizing until it has settled into its new environment.
Tip: Transplanting mature trees is an intensive exercise. Hire a pro for the best results.
We know you love your palm trees, so for more advice and services based on decades in the tree business, give Jez at JC Tree Services a buzz today on 0418 451 814. God speed to your beautiful palm!