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Plant Diseases/pony tail palm tree


Our Pony tail palm tree ( about 7 yrs old) 9ft tall  has done just great all these years- water 2-4 wks.  but today I noticed a crack in its Bottom- not sure what happen to our "Spidy" but I am worried this could be very bad.  He is the talk of our building everyone loves him, I feel like he's my child.  What can
I do? thank you for your advise

Dear Patricia, The main danger with a split in the trunk is a risk of infection, so carefully inspect the split, do any necessary trimming and then treat the wound with a strong fungicide, preferably one containing Chlorothalonil or Proprioconozole as an active ingredient.  Sometimes this is caused by overwatering, so I would cut back a bit on watering for a while, especially during the cooler months.  If your palm is 9 feet high, I would suspect you are doing everything right by this palm, so treat the wound like you would treat a cut and it will probably heal just fine.  You will know it is better when you see scarring over on the split.  Any wet, softening, or oozing area should be cut out and retreated with fungicide.  I hope this information helps.  Write back if you need more assistance and Happy Thanksgiving.  Melissa

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Melissa Johnston


Plant diseases, landscaping, tropical plants, roses, herbs, plant care, grafting, horticulture, plant identification, anything about plants I can likely answer.


35 years experience in various plant businesses, 1984 Certified Texas Master Gardener.

Master Gardener Association of Texas charter member

none as of yet, but I have a plant q&a book I am in process of submitting.

Magna cum laude graduate of Texas A&M, 1978

Awards and Honors
Plant growing awards, highest grade for Texas Master Gardener graduates.

Past/Present Clients
Past member of and was very highly rated. Owned landscape company in the past, Almost Paradise, and was very successful despite little equipment, no help, and no advertising. Lived well for two years until 9/11.

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