THANKS FOR RUINING MY PALM TREES YOUR ALL HEART!!

Discussion in 'Trees, Shrubs and Roses' started by Weedscaper, Mar 3, 2022.

  1. Weedscaper

    Weedscaper New Seed

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    Around ten years ago the pest man put some sort of black plug into each of the coco palms in the front yard. My house is in South Florida.

    PALM TREE STAINS 30 (1).jpg

    COULD he have put these plugs on the back side of the tree?? I suppose I could put the question to him, but he no longer works here.
    PALM TREE STAINS 30 (2).jpg

    Does anyone know the product which was inserted into these trees? He also put one of these insidiously unsightly plugs into a gumbo limbo tree.

    I don't mean to sound like a cry baby, but this really wasn't necessary. I do know Florida has some sort of bug infestation about every 15 years or so. This may have been seen as a drastic but necessary action, although I don't recall seeing this eyesore on other palm trees around town.

    Anyhow, the tree trimmer who comes once a year told me that in his opinion, the product wasn't even needed. Of course, this made me hate these black stains even more.

    PALM TREE STAINS 30 (3).jpg

    I would like to contact the company and see if they have any brilliant ideas about what I might be able to put on the trees to remove or reduce these stains. They do look permanent though. I tried spray painting one of the trees, and it just made the tree look uglier. A thick gray latex paint might do better. Should I hire an artist? Someone who paints theatrical sets?

    Down here some folks actually paint the lower part of their palm trees white. Personally, I never like seeing that.

    If anyone has any idea of how I might improve this travesty I would love to hear the suggestion.
     
  2. mart

    mart Strong Ash

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    Well I could hide it but do not have time to go to Florida ! Easy way is just to go to Wal Mart and get three craft paints about the right color and a good bristle brush ! Get one slightly darker ,one about the same color as the tree and one slightly lighter ! Use small amounts of paint and blend it in ! may use a good coat of paint on darkest area then dry brush the other colors on top ! Just try to follow the background colors !
     
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  3. Weedscaper

    Weedscaper New Seed

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    Thank you for the response. I searched, "painting a palm tree" and the results were all about artists painting palm trees on canvas and paper. Then I got smarter and searched "painting a palm tree trunk," this got results.

    I now know why people sometimes paint the first five feet or so of a palm tree white. It is so the drivers see them and don't run into them. There is also a cultural element and in certain areas people have the tradition of painting palm trees going back hundreds of years. It is also can be done to help protect against disease, insects, and fungus. I had no idea of this. Respiration isn't an issue for the tree, just be sure not to use an oil based paint.

    One website suggests not using latex paint at full strength but using 1/3 paint, 1/3 water, and 1/3 joint compound.

    Looks like I have another project. I'll be ridiculously happy if this works out. Reports are that the paint will stay on the tree for years.
     
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  4. mart

    mart Strong Ash

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    Craft paints will not damage the tree ! You really just want to blend it in so it matches the color of the trunk !
     
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  5. MIKE ALLEN

    MIKE ALLEN Seedling

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    Sorry but I am at a loss. Painting of trees, and plugs for bugs. My mind boggles. Sadly this is a typical point where our gardening knowhow falls apart.
    May I ask. What plugs and to what preventative aspect do they or suppose to relate to.
    So a guy from wherever turns up and 'plugs' your trees. WHY? My friend. Please enlighten me more. What bugs, paint etc.
     
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  6. Weedscaper

    Weedscaper New Seed

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    The person who put the plugs in was the exterminator guy for this property. He used to spray the big Ficus hedge for whitefly and do the inside of the house for roaches. He is the one who put the plugs in the coco palms. I don't know what he was trying to guard against, I would expect there was at least some good reasoning behind it. I could call him and ask for details - product name & what was he trying to stop, but his personality was decidedly gruff. I'm sure his mother loved him, but he was never a good person to get information from.

    It was the tree trimmer who saw the black spots caused by the plugs many years after the plugs were put in. His observation was that the plugs weren't needed and were an awful way of addressing the problem anyway. He's a nicer person and I should probably call him up to get the back story - what and why on this.

    South Florida is, I believe I read, a drained swamp. The whole region, since it is not natural, can get out of balance. So, every 15 or 20 years, it is my understanding that some sort of bug or plant virus will sweep the environment. These plugs which I really resent, may have actually saved these trees ten years ago.

    Here is how the paint job is going so far. The gray paint - just the first coat - is already much better than the harsh intense black jumping out at me. At a distance and with my eye sight not being great, I view it as a real improvement.



    Coco Palms  (12).JPG Coco Palms  (11).JPG Coco Palms  (5).JPG

    Anyhow, it's funny what happens when you start looking at things you see every day more closely. I see two things, one is merely interesting, the other is alarming.

    I had never noticed, but it looks like someone scaled one of the palm trees with climbing spurs. This would have been done over ten years ago. The little holes stop about 3/4 of the way up because the tree has grown quite a bit taller in the past ten years. Since I've been in this house, we hire a guy with a bucket truck to trim these palms. They are each about 45 feet high I think.

    Coco Palms  (8).JPG

    If anyone has a better explanation for what those uniform holes are, please let me know.

    The next thing I noticed is downright scary. It looks like one of the coco palms is deteriorating a few feet off the ground, plus there's some divits just a little higher up. I felt the damaged area and the wood did feel firm.

    Coco Palms  (1).JPG

    Is this progressive? How could I be so unobservant ! ! ! :sulk:

    A little ways up from this crater are smaller ones. This could actually be the problem which the awful looking plugs were trying to counter-act.

    Coco Palms  (2).JPG

    It looks like I need to get someone on the property to talk about these issues. Maybe the tree trimmer. If anyone has facts or informed opinions, I would like to hear what you have to say.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2022
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  7. MIKE ALLEN

    MIKE ALLEN Seedling

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    A quick bit of research.
    So whether or not the holes were made by a climbers spikes or have appeared due to some natural reason.
    On trees that have a thick, heavy bark. Perhaps the holes do not penetrate all that far. However just beneath the out bark is what is called the Cambrian layer. This is where all the sap and nutrients flow, feeding the tree/plant. All plants have the equivalent. So if by whatever means holes have come about, then this is a readymade access for infection. Usually slight bark or Cambrian damage may self heal by drying and callousing over. So the insertion of some kind of plug presumably helps to aid the recovery.
    Also the painting of the trunks of trees. Here in the UK. Such painting usually means applying a tar-oil coating to fruit trees to deter creepy crawlies causing damage.

    So in conclusion. Sad the guy carrying out these tasks, is/was a misery guts. Seems he was right.
     
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  8. mart

    mart Strong Ash

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    If anyone has a better explanation for what those uniform holes are, please let me know.

    We also have those holes on our fruit trees ,same as yours ! Birds are the culprit. They will not hurt the tree I am told ! Just unsightly !
     
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  9. Weedscaper

    Weedscaper New Seed

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    Interesting thought. Last year a woodpecker was going to town on my neighbor's gutter. Lord a mighty what a noise! They were out of town and I headed over there thinking ... what on earth could this possibly be ??? An astounding racket !!

    I'm calling my tree guy today and either sending him pictures or having him come by.
     

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