Palms - Lethal Bronzing Inoculations

In Naples, Florida there is no cure for Lethal Bronzing; only preventative measures can be taken such as quarterly palm inoculations and immediate removal of infected palms.
Palm injections are performed on a consistent, quarterly basis accompanied with site inspections and monitoring of the severity of progression within the community and locale to aid in protecting your palms from the deadly disease. Technique of the application is paramount when providing this prophylactic. Any deviation from proper inoculation technique will render the inoculation useless.

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Signature Tree Care in Naples, Florida also performs palm removals if needed with the proper disposal of infected material, along with injections of susceptible palms on your property the same day.
For more information on Lethal Bronzing and a complete list of susceptible palms click here.

Lethal Bronzing Symptoms


Coconuts, mature and immature, begin to drop from coconut palms and fruit begins to drop from other varieties, a process called ‘shelling’.


Flower stalks (inflorescences) begin to blacken looking burned.


Palm fronds start to yellow (or, in the case of some species, turn greyish-brown), beginning with the older, lower fronds and progressing up through the crown.


Spear leaf collapses and the bud dies. By the time this happens, the palm is dead presenting a hazard. The potential for failure is high as the bud will separate from the trunk and fall.


Entire crown falls from the palm leaving a forlorn ‘telephone pole’ stalk. The palm dies within three to six months of the first symptom.



There is no cure for Lethal Bronzing; only preventative measures can be taken such as inoculations and immediate removal of infected palms.

Call for a free evaluation & receive an estimate for quarterly inoculations of susceptible palms. If above symptoms are found on susceptible palms, we can provide a proposal for removal and provide inoculation services to other palms.

Photo Credits: Naples Daily News 2011

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Lethal Bronzing Inoculations

Lethal Bronzing gets its name from the bronzing and drooping of palm fronds beginning with the lower fronds and advancing up through the crown. There is to date no cure for Lethal Bronzing, only prevention.

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The cause of Lethal Bronzing a bacteria-like organism called a phytoplasma. Phytoplasmas are not yet well understood but, like bacteria, they can be controlled with preventative inoculations that Signature Tree Care offers.

Most common susceptible palms to Lethal Bronzing include:
  • Christmas
  • Bismarck
  • Pindo
  • Carpentaria
  • Coconut
  • Chinese fan
  • Canary Island date
  • Edible date
  • Pygmy date
  • Wild date
  • Fiji fan
  • Buccaneer
  • Mexican palmetto
  • Sabal palmetto
  • Queen


The Lethal Bronzing micro-organism is spread by an insect, called the Planthopper (myndus crudus) that is believed to be transported via plants and sod from areas across the state where its presence is established.


There is to date no cure for Lethal Bronzing, only prevention.

Arborist consultation with early detection by lab test results and or definitive signs and symptoms to diagnosis is good management. Removing the host plant immediately is necessary and prevention by inoculation programs are best management practices to combat Lethal Bronzing. Signature Tree Care also recommends planting disease resistant palms if palms are to be replaced.

Signature Tree Care was thoroughly involved with Lethal Yellowing Collier County prevention programs during the early 2000s outbreak. We worked closely with the community and the Collier County University of Florida extension agent providing certified inoculations as well as safe and professional palm removals from Bonita Springs to Marco Island.

Unlike Lethal Yellowing, there is no cure for palms already infected with Lethal bronzing. Immediate removal of infected palms are necessary.

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