Question: I live in Miami, FL and have had my Coconut Palms for over 12 years now. In 1992 during Hurricane Andrew a missile composed of a piece of someone’s roof pierced one of the Coconut Palm trees to a depth of about 3/4’s of its diameter. I later extricated the missile and the tree seemed to ignore the fact that it had been damaged. It continues to grow similar to the rate of the other 5 Palms and produces its fair share of coconuts. However, I noticed recently that some birds have built a nest in the hole which has become something like a cave in the middle of the tree.
Is there something that I should do to close off the hole in the tree? If so, should I pack the hole with something that would be beneficial for the tree? If not, is there any tell-tale signs that I should watch for that would tell me to get ready to replace this tree because the damage is finally going to cause the demise of this tree? Thank you so much for any advise that you could provide.
Answer: I think your palm will be fine. It is best to spray the cut with fungicide right after the damage happens. But since your Coconut Palm has survived, I don’t think anything should happen to it. However, you should watch out for those birds and other insects that might think your tree is a great place to make a new home. I would not cover the hole, but you should definitely treat it with some bird repellent product. Just keep an eye on it. If you notice insects, get rid of them right away. ~Susan Brian
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