The History and Management of Lethal Yellowing in Collier County

Robert L. Petersen, Terry L. Fedelem


Lethal Yellowing (LY) is a deadly (mycoplasmlike organism) disease that kills coconut and thirty-six other known species of palms. The list of susceptible palms continues to grow every year as more research is conducted. LY first appeared in Collier County in October 1974 and again in 1980 and 1989. Through aggressive educational programs and inoculations of oxytetracycline, the LY disease was suppressed. A fourth infestation was identified in January 1998 as result of the annual county Medflight helicopter survey of palms. Perimeters of inoculations have been established, plus aerial and ground surveys are being conducted every three months. Collier County and the City of Naples harbor the largest remaining population of 'Jamaican Tall1’ coconuts in Florida. The success of managing the LY disease is a direct result of partnership established between Collier County and City of Naples governments in 1974. 

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283