Date palm

Question: date palm

Good morning. I had a beautiful date palm. I say I had it because the red awl almost destroyed it for me. After a drastic intervention, I haven't seen the awl since a couple of years and it seems that the plant has stabilized. The large leaves are kept fairly high, while the leaflets turn yellow and dry. I believe the plant is not dead. Is there any chance of reviving it? - Thanks

Answer: date palm

Dear Franco,
the red palm weevil is a beetle native to southern Asia, which has come to the Mediterranean area for some years; this insect loves to lay its eggs under the leaves and near the wood wounds of the most common palms in Italy; the larvae feed on the fibrous wood, and they dig tunnels, even of large dimensions. The fight against this insect is not easy, and besides this, surely all the palms present on the national territory, and above all those not particularly healthy, are threatened. So, if a couple of years ago your palm was attacked and cured, it is not said that it is now immune to further attacks by the awl; indeed, precisely because your palm is still debilitated, it becomes an even more interesting guest for these insects, as its defense systems are weakened. The first thing you can do is to verify that the insects have not returned, and therefore it is perhaps the case to place some pheromone traps for the red palms of the palms, in order to check if you catch some adults, who could have deposed his eggs; if you find adults, unfortunately the insects have returned, and therefore you will have to repeat the care you had already taken some years ago, fortunately with success; in that case, since your palm has already been cured once, I think you know precisely what needs to be done against the awls. If you have used insecticides of various types, know that some studies have shown that particular nematodes are able to kill red spines, both larvae, and adults, and therefore I believe that the use of these particular nematodes is to be recommended. First of all because it prevents you from spreading insecticides in the garden that are often unhealthy for any living being present around the palm, and in addition to this, the presence of nematodes on your palm allows you to also check for any future infestations by the awl. If you don't catch any bugs, then your palm is simply recovering from the previous attack; consider that the red palm weevil digs out real tunnels in the palm stem, so it is not easy for the plant to develop again in the best way. To avoid that it is an easy banquet for other awls, try to cultivate it in the best way: water only if necessary, provide a good fertilizer at least once a year, try to keep the foliage and the stem well sunny. In Italy, the spring of 2013 is showing itself to be particularly cool and wet, perhaps your palm is simply suffering from this climate that seems more autumnal than spring, and therefore when the heat arrives in the coming days it will be restored without problems.