What Is Lethal Yellowing Disease: Learn About Lethal Yellowing Of Palms

By Jackie Carroll Lethal yellowing is a tropical disease that affects several species of palm. This disfiguring disease can devastate landscapes in South Florida that rely on palms. Find out about lethal yellowing treatment and detection in this article. What is Lethal Yellowing? As the name implies, lethal yellowing is a fatal disease. It is caused by a phytoplasma, which is a microscopic organism a little less sophisticated than a bacteria. Insects called planthoppers carry the phytoplasma from tree to tree. Planthoppers can’t survive at temperatures below freezing, and this prevents the disease from spreading into other parts of the country. Lethal yellowing disease can’t be controlled by killing the insect vector because insecticides often fail to come into contact with these constantly moving, flying insects. Lethal yellowing disease affects coconut palms, date palms, and a few other palm species. In the U.S., it occurs in the lower third of


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