Yesterday’s strength training workout…
Yesterday’s strength training workout was a bit unorthodox: I had to remove two 30+ foot Queen Palms from my property. 🙁
Two of my prized mature Queen Palms contracted a dreadful disease known as Fusarium Decline (PDF format). There is no known preventative or cure for this disease:
- Infected palms die quickly, often within a few months of the initial symptoms.
- There is no cure once a palm is infected.
- No preventive fungicide treatments are recommended.
- The disease is probably spread by wind into new sites.
Despite years of extraordinary care and fertilization of these once beautiful palms, there was absolutely nothing I could do to prevent this from happening, nor was there anything I could do (but watch the palms die) once they contracted the disease. It was just bad luck.
One palm died a few months ago, and I was 90% sure that the palm next to it had also contracted the disease. To the chagrin of my neighbors, I waited to remove the first palm until I was sure the second palm was also going to die (I reasoned having both palms removed at once would cost a little less).
Estimates to remove the two dead palms came in at around $500.00 (significantly less from somewhat dubious fly-by-night outfits, who have been hounding me every time I step outside). Spending that kind of money to have the palms removed felt like insult to injury, so I decided to tackle the project myself.
Felling the palms took a little planning. This was especially true for the bigger of the two, as I had to sort of “thread the needle” between a Magnolia tree and a delicate topiary. I let out a little “woop!” when the 30+ foot monster fell precisely where I’d planned, and just between the two obstacles.
The chainsaw stuff was the fun part. Getting the palms moved to the curb for pickup sucked. The trunks of these palms are very dense, and very heavy. It was one hell of a workout (click to enlarge):
Needless to say, I am feeling all that lifting this morning!
While I’m glad this project is behind me, I can’t even describe how sad it made me to cut these palms down. I still have a few Queen Palms on my property that seem to have (so far) escaped infection, but I will never use these palms in my landscapes again (I actually lost another mature Queen to this same disease a couple years ago). It’s a real shame, too, as Queen Palms are (were) one of my favorite specimen plants.