Why Is My Palo Verde Tree Dying [3 Common Reasons]

Palo Verde trees require less maintenance. So gardeners often grow them for their luscious leaves. But this privilege comes with an issue too which is these trees are susceptible to dying, especially if the growing conditions are not right.  But not many know what triggers the issue, so they wonder, “Why is my Palo Verde tree dying?

The Palo Verde species mainly die due to excessive moisture in the soil. Also, pests and fungal infestation can kill the tree. Fortunately, you can keep them healthy by following the right direction. So stick with us.

Why Is My Palo Verde Tree Dying?

Palo Verde trees are stress and drought resistant which means that they can survive even in extreme conditions. However, they are also susceptible to a lot of diseases and damage that can kill them. And here are the most common reasons that gradually decompose the trees if they are not treated early –

Fungal Infection 

P. Omnivora is a Palo verde tree fungus that rots the tree roots. And with rotten roots, the trees cannot access enough nutrients and water. It, in terms, kills the tree. 

This fungus forms collective strands on the tree roots. And the fungus consumes the energy and food stored by the Palo Verde. It stresses the tree, and it starts showing symptoms of decay. 

P. Omnivora can only infect Palo Verde roots if the tree roots grow and spread as deep as the population sites of this fungi species. So, bigger Palo Verde species are more susceptible to this infection and gradual decomposition.

Palo Verde over Watering Issue 

Overwatering can kill any tree, including the sturdy Palo Verde species. Excessive water clogs the air holes in the soil. Hence, the tree roots do not get enough oxygen or air to thrive. 

Also, excessive moisture weakens the roots and stems of the tree leaves. As a result, the tree leaves start yellowing and wilting sooner than expected. Gradually, the weak structure of the tree makes it more susceptible to wounds and physical damage that can kill the tree. 

Overflooding the roots or soil prevents the tree from experiencing stress signals. These signals are necessary for root growth and the healthy life cycle of the tree. Or else the tree weakens with time and dies. 

When the water level rises nearby the roots, it washes away the nutrients around the tree. Therefore, the tree cannot reach the nutrients and starve of nutrition. 

Pest Infestation 

If the soil nearby Palo Verde is too moist and there is no way for the water to flow correctly, it attracts a lot of pests. Also, tree wounds can invite these pests. Among them, the Spider Mites pests are the most common ones. 

Once they infest the roots, the Palo Verde starts growing clusters of dense branches. And these branches deteriorate the health of the tree and lead the tree to slow death.

Root borer pests can also feed off the Palo Verde tree. If pests compete with the tree for food, the trees slowly will die of malnutrition. 

How to Keep Palo Verde Trees Healthy?

If your Palo Verde has started to show the symptoms of decay, such as leaves yellowing, wilting, excessive leaf drops, etc., you can still save it. With proper treatment and maintenance, you can keep the dying tree healthy. And here are the two handy methods for that:

Method-1: Keep the Soil Healthy 

Palo Verde requires soil that contains balanced moisture and dryness for the trees to withstand stress and other minor damages. Also, such soil prevents pests from feeding off the tree roots. So, keep the soil healthy with these steps: 

  • If the soil looks too dry and cracked, water around the Palo Verde regularly.
  • To retain the soil moisture, add a thick layer of mulch to the soil. 
  • If the water seems too moist and muddy, make a proper drainage system around the tree so that the water can drain itself. 
  • Adding organic fertilizer can also improve the soil condition. 

Method-2: Pest and Disease Control 

If you treat pest infestation and disease during the initial stage, it prevents the tree from dying. For that, all you have to do is:

  • Observe the trees for pest infestation symptoms such as clustered abnormal branches and holes in the trunk or larvae on the base.
  • Root borer pests around the trees are also symptoms of pest infestation.
  • Then, contact an arborist and discuss the symptoms. 
  • Apply the pesticide recommended by the arborist by following the use instructions on the pesticide. 
  • If there are holes or wounds on the tree, carefully remove the outer bark or edges around the wound with a knife.
  • Then, make deep cuts around the wounds so that the wounds look like a V or oval shape.
  • Leave the cut wound as it is to let it heal naturally.
  • After applying pesticides, ensure not to overwater the tree and make deep cuts in the tree while pruning. It protects the tree from further pest infestation. 

In case you do not recognize root borer pests, watch the given video:


Palo Verde trees are one of the most stress-resistant species. Yet poor growing conditions and infestation can lead them to slow death. But the species is not native to all origins, so its issues are not widely discussed.

So, you are not the only one to not have any clue regarding why is my Palo Verde tree dying. If you want to keep your Palo Verde thriving, we’d highly motivate you to keep the soil structure healthy and prune the tree regularly. 

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q’s):

What are the symptoms that Palo Verde is dying?

The health of Palo Verde will gradually deteriorate if it starts decaying. To be specific, it might not grow leaves properly, the leaves will drop excessively, and the foliage may wilt. 

Will the Palo Verde tree fall on the ground if it dies?

If the tree structure is too weak and the stump is rotten, a heavy wind or storm can drop the tree on the ground. Other than that, the species is sturdy enough to stand strong. 

Are all Palo Verde varieties prone to dying?

Mainly the Mexican and the Blue Palo Verde species are more susceptible to dying. And the Foothill species may show higher resistance than the other ones. 

Md Biajid

Meet Mia Biajid, a passionate nature lover. Particularly, he has a deep-rooted connection to the plant. Mia loves to spend time exploring forests and uncovering the secrets held within trees. He always inspires others to appreciate and protect our precious part of the ecosystem.

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