Sago palms are susceptible to insects called scales. While not easy to control, scale disease damage can be mitigated. Untreated scale disease will attack the palm’s leaves, roots and trunk.
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Sago palm scale disease originated in Thailand and Southern China. It spread to the United States via infected imported plants.
Palm trees will die from an untreated infestation of scale. Over time the scale turns the palm leaves yellow and they lose the ability to perform the photosynthesis process.
Scale damage first appears as white spots on the palm fronds. These white spots are actually insects that feed on the underside of the tree’s leaves.
The wind contributes to the rapid spread of sago palm scale disease.
Natural predators such as the predatory beetle and the parasitic wasp rid the sago palm of scale. Alternatively, cut off the palm leaves and apply horticultural oil each week for 5 weeks, according to the University of Florida.