Dying OB Palm Trees Make the News – Thanks to the Palm Weevil

by on March 9, 2021 · 5 comments

in Environment, Ocean Beach, San Diego

Dying palm trees in Ocean Beach made the news Monday. Sadly.

The San Diego U-T had a spread on Monday that focused on OB and Point Loma at its start:

Ocean Beach and Point Loma have both reported dead palm trees due to the palm weevil. In Ocean Beach, diseased palms can be seen along Santa Monica Avenue, according to Mark Winkie, President of the Ocean Beach Town Council. And in Point Loma, the trees that line Catalina Boulevard are showing signs of infestation, according to Mike McCurdy, chairman of the Point Loma Association.

Writer Jennifer Iaani explained:

Most of San Diego’s palm trees are classified as Canary Island date palm trees. Unfortunately, Canary Island date palms are also a favorite snack of the South American palm weevil, a type of bug that first made its presence known in Southern California in 2011. Once a palm weevil attacks a tree, the tree begins to show visible signs of disease, such as brown, drooping fronds.
At this point, according to experts, it’s most likely too late to salvage the tree.

For the balance of the article, please go here.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Tyler March 9, 2021 at 11:56 am

I guess the obvious question is… what are we doing to counter this? Anything they can put in the trees/soil to prevent from occurring, or stem the issue?


Peter from South O March 10, 2021 at 7:35 am

The Canary Island palm is an invasive species, and removal of ‘wild’ ones from riverbeds has not been cheap. So, not a lot of research being done here on that.
Now, if we could just figure out how to kill the Eucalyptus trees . . .


burt March 9, 2021 at 12:08 pm

Her statement that” most of San Diego s palm trees are classified as Canary Island Date palm trees”
is so blatantly false that I’m surprised that after appearing in the Beacon that it was not corrected in the SD Union article. (or was it the LA Times?) All one has to do is look outside. There are plenty of Phoenix Canariensis palms around, but they are far out numbered by the Mexican Fan Palms, Queen Palms, and King Palms to say nothing of the numerous other species that can be seen throughout San Diego. Common? Yes. Most, most definitely not. So far most of the many other palm species are fortunately not infested with the beetle. The Canary Islander has also been beset with something called fusarium wilt in recent years. There was a time when you might be approached by someone offering $500-1000 for a mature tree. They were used in large commercial plantings. No more I believe because of aforementioned problems


Frank Gormlie March 9, 2021 at 4:41 pm

Thanks for the clarification.


GML March 9, 2021 at 2:05 pm

We lost our canary island date palm to the weevil last year and had to have it removed.


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