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Anna, Teacher, writer, biologist
Category: General
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my neighbor says she has a disease of her ficus Benjamin called

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my neighbor says she has a disease of her ficus Benjamin called "golden mall" and the whole neighborhood has to eliminate their healthy ficus. We are in south Florida. My ficus is 10 feet tall, no white fly or other problems. I can only find something that has a similar name called "crown gall" or "ficus gall" Do you know if it is treatable or may infest our ficus? We spray for the usual pests. Is there another product to keep it from spreading, if it what she is referring to, she is not the horticulturist of our neighborhood and could be just panicking. What is your opinion?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.

If your neighbor's tree is infected with crown gall, she should have it removed and destroyed. However, there is no need to destroy healthy trees. Trees should be examined for swollen areas on the leaves, stems, and roots, that tend to have a corky appearance. The gall is spread by either a bacteria or a fungus. some people attempt to treat it with copper based sprays, but the disease is very difficult to control.

I wouldn't destroy all the trees because of what your neighbor says. Try to find out where she got her diagnosis. If it was from a certified arborist or an extension Agent, it is probably reliable. Otherwise, it would be agood idea to consult one of these professionals to find out exactly how much danger the neighborhood trees are in, and if anything needs to be done. Perhaps you could pool your money to have an arborist take a look. This link will take you to a directory of certified arborists:

The County Extension Agents are also very helpful. there is no charge for their services. You can find yours by going to this website, click on Florida, then on your county:

Consulting an arborist or an Extension agent will give you much more reliable information than simply listening to the neighbor. If you have more questions, let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope it will turn out that your tree is fine.

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