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Beautiful day, but...

Gorgeous day! Sunny, not humid, temps in mid to high 70s. Spent some time gathering giant bird of paradise seeds and doing some general pruning out dead stuff. It's a good time of year to do major clean up; the growth rate of most plants has down-shifted so I don't have to worry about doing permanent damage. But...

the sad news is our big, beautiful queen sago is going down. Asian scale, which snuck into Miami International from Thailand in 1998 and is now as wide-spread as Texas and California, nailed it a couple of years ago. We fought it and fought it, but this year it came back gangbusters. No more life support. You wouldn't believe how thick the scale is this year--it looks like snow and leave a sticky yellow mess on your gloves whenever you grasp the fronds to cut them off. I don't know what's to done about it. The good news--if there is good news--is that the scale seems specific to the Cycas species [goodbye king and queen sagos], but doesn't appear to attack other cycads; we have various Dioons, Zamias, and Encephalartoses close enough to be infected, but none have been [small favors].

Island Jim
Southwest Florida
27.0 N, 82.4 W
Hardiness Zone 10
Heat Zone 10
Minimum 30 F [-1 C]
Maximum 100 F [38 C]

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