How to Remove Black Fungus on Palm Trees

Step 1

Determine the cause of the fungus. Have the fungus tested by an extension service. Have a soil sample tested as well to check for nutrient deficiencies. Poor nutrition weakens the palms, making them more susceptible to disease.

Step 2

Fertilize the palm tree based on the results of the soil test. Use a slow-release fertilizer with the correct balance of minerals according to the package instructions.

Step 3

Treat the palm tree with horticultural oil if the fungus is sooty mold caused by insect pests such as whiteflies, aphids or scale. Follow the package instructions and repeat the treatment every seven to 10 days until the pests are gone.

Step 4

Remove the infected leaves or parts only if the tree looks healthy apart from the fungus spots. If the tree is healthy, prune and destroy the infected fronds. Cease overhead watering so water does not sit on the leaves.

Step 5

Treat the palm tree with a fungicide according to the label instructions if you have a fungus such as bud rot that will not clear up on its own after preventive measures are taken.

Step 6

Remove the palm tree and destroy all of the parts if the fungus has progressed far enough that the tree has rotted internally and cannot be saved.

Things You Will Need

  • Soil test
  • Fungus test
  • Fertilizer
  • Horticultural oil
  • Pruning shears
  • Fungicide


  • Disinfect pruning tools with bleach or alcohol between uses to avoid spreading fungus from one tree to another.