Palm trees in Los Angeles are dying because of disease and pests, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Palm trees were imported into Southern California in the 19th and early 20th centuries and are a staple in the City of Angels. But a fatal fungus and a threat of invasive insects in parks and along streets are threatening their existence.
"Over the next 50 years, you will see a great loss in palms. It's already begun," Jared Farmer, a history professor at Stony Brook University who specializes in environmental history, landscape studies, and the American West, told the Times.
The South American palm weevil, which burrows into the leaf base and lays eggs, and Fusuraium fungus, which enters the tree through its roots, are the biggest issues the city is dealing with, as each can kill a healthy palm on its own. Other threats include a worm that can attack the palm’s trunk, an Asian beetle that carves tunnels in palm trunks to lay its eggs, and two other diseases.
In Echo Park Lake and Elysian Park, where Canary Island date palms are prevalent, the trees are already being affected.