"Worry Climbs as Puzzling Bacteria Leaves Florida Palms Withering"

"Florida horticulturists worry palm trees throughout the Sunshine State and Southeast could vanish as a new bacterial condition ravages the state’s most iconic scenery."

"They are as iconic to Florida as sunshine and Mickey Mouse. But now, it appears, the state's famous palm trees are under threat by an interloper from the West.

The curiously named "Texas Phoenix palm decline" has taken root in several populations of trees. The problem has been brought on, say horticultural experts, by a tiny plant-hopping bug that chews into leaves and then vomits on them.

The bacterial condition has already been blamed for destroying thousands of palms in central and western parts of the state. Now, it's raising the unthinkable possibility of tourism magnets such as Disney World or Miami's South Beach losing their trademark trees."

Richard Luscombe reports for the Christian Science Monitor September 26, 2011.


Source: Christian Science Monitor, 09/28/2011