The tree is almost dead.  Such a shame, it was a great feature here.

Marrickville Council has given notice that they intend to remove a Canary Island Date Palm (Phoenix canariensis) in Loftus Street Reserve, Dulwich HIll (beside 420 New Canterbury Road).

They give the following reason for removal –

  • “The tree exhibits severe crown dieback (>90%) & fungal infection symptoms consistent with fusarium wilt.  No effective treatments are available to reverse the tree’s condition.”

Council says they will replace this tree with a Brush Box (Lophostemon confertus) during the 2012-2013 replacement tree planting program.   A Brush Box will be nice here as it won’t need to be pruned, so will also grow into a good feature for this space.

The deadline for any submissions is Friday 13th July 2012.

Arborism 101 – for those who are interested.  Fusarium wilt is a disease caused by a fungus – Fusarium oxysporum & was first observed in Australia in the early 1980s when palms began to die at Centennial Park in Sydney.  … fronds may die more rapidly on one side of the tree, or from the base or from the centre of the tree.  Most characteristically the pinnae & spines on one side of an individual frond die first & the lower fronds die rapidly so that eventually only a few surviving fronds form a spike at the top of the tree.”   It also occurs with Basil, brassicas, curcubits, lettuce, alliums, pea, potato, snake bean, ginger & tomato plants.

“Researchers at the University of California, Riverside (Feather, Ohr, & Munnecke 1979) characterized the disease on Canary palm & determined that it is spread mechanically by contaminated pruning saws.”

“Canary Island date palms should be pruned with either new handsaws or clean, disinfected tools – both in the landscape and nursery.  Pruning should be limited to once each year. Furthermore, pruning should be restricted to removal of only dead or dying leaves. Severe pruning, such as “hurricane cuts” or “pineapple cuts,” weakens trees & increases the risk of pathogen transmission. Pruning should be viewed as a risk factor for Fusarium wilt disease transmission, & not as a benefit to the Canary Island date palm. …be sure the palm is not chipped & recycled for mulch in the landscape.”

Lower end of the trunk

It was nice to see that Council has planted a new Eucalypt on the other side of this small reserve.