Palm Trees Are Dying Across San Diego County, Here's Why


San Diego is full of beautiful palm trees. One of the most common to the area is the Canary Island Palm.

Sadly, scientists have found that those very palms are dying across San Diego County. The source of the destruction is a weevil infestation.

"It's estimated that 10,000 palms have been killed by the South American palm weevil," Mark Hoddle told CBS8.

Hoddle, who works with UC Riverside, explained how the weevils attack the palms.

"These long nose weevils use it to drill holes and then lay their eggs in the tunnel," said Hoddle.

This weevil infestation isn't exactly a new development.

The weevils were first spotted in San Diego back in 2011 and have proved to be devastating in the Sweetwater Reservoir, according to CBS8.

"There's got to be thousands of naturalized canary island palms in there and the weevils have killed almost 50%," said Hoddle.

Because of the mild winter, Hoddle says the weevils are seizing the opportunity.

"It's an accelerating problem," he said.

But there are ways to protect your palms. According to Hoddle spotting an infected palm is easy.

"When the weevil gets in there the fronds are upright, then they'll tilt and collapse, it will turn brown, and the fronds will fall out," said Hoddle. "So, for the homeowner who wants to protect their palms, they'll need to contact an arborist to see what the costs to protect their palm."

Photo: Getty Images