Homestead Tree Service

Fusarium Wilt



Canary Island date palms, Phoenix canariensis, are majestic palms that symbolize San Diego and the Southern Californian life‑style.

However, they are under attack by a fungus known
as fusarium wilt, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. canariensis.

This fungus is always fatal. It can take a few months to a few years to kill the tree. There is no cure.

Canary Island date palm
dying fronds

The first sign is dying fronds around mid‑canopy, which is above the level where they normally die.

The pinnae or leaflets of the frond die on one side of the rachis or main stem while remaining green on the other side as seen in the left and right photos.

frond leaflets
The fronds continue to die higher and higher

The fronds continue to die higher and
higher as seen in the left and right photos ...

The fronds continue to die higher and higher

... until the palm eventually dies.

eventual palm tree death


A fungus entering thru the root system or, most commonly, thru pruning cuts.


What can you do to protect your valuable date palm?

It is theorized that the disease is most likely spread from date palm to date palm by pruning with infected tools. What you can do to reduce your palms chances of contracting fusarium wilt is insist that whoever prunes your trees:

Trimming date palm - San Diego tree trimming
In the left photo, the climber is using a handsaw to cut the fronds. In the right photo, the climber uses a spade to remove the old petiole bases and form the signature “ball” of the Canary Island Date palm. These tools (when sterilized between trees) significantly reduce the chance of spreading fusarium wilt from one tree to the next.
Date palm trimming
Healthy date palm trees - San Diego tree trimming

A beautiful investment or an expensive removal?

If you have more questions, contact us at 619‑443‑1775

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