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December 2019 Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens

2410 SE Westmoreland Blvd. Port St. Lucie, FL 34952 Phone: 772.337.1959 Fax: 772.237.5952 E-mail: info@pslbg.org Web: www.pslbg.org Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 10am - 4pm Sunday Noon - 4pm Closed Monday, Tuesday & Some Holidays Suggested Donations: Adults $5 Students $2 Children 12 & Under Welcome Free for FPSLBG Members and Active Military with family (IDs required)

Mission Statement... Friends’ mission is to create and maintain a beautiful, serene sanctuary in the center of Port St. Lucie that is environmentally sound and naturally diverse and to provide educational, cultural and recreational opportunities for all who visit.

Officers & Directors... President: Vice President: Secretary: Treasurer: Directors:

Joleen King Heather Furnari Claire Clark Brenda Gustafson Brett Ashley John Erickson Melinda DeMarco Judy Nash-Wade Michelle Peterson Tim Sutton Mary Thomas

Standing Committee Chairs... Election Committee:

Stephanie Alessandrini-Giarraffa Brenda Gustafson Claire Clark Brenda Gustafson

Finance Committee: Gift Shop Committee: Horticulture Committee: Membership & Volunteer Committee: Mary Thomas Resource Development Committee: Melinda DeMarco Strategic Planning Committee: Michelle Peterson

Newsletter... Editor & Design:

Mark Barnes

The Gardens is managed and operated by Friends of the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) public charity organization, that was founded to help support the daily operations of The Gardens. Friends volunteers provide hands-on daily oversight of the facility, including staffing to handle the many visitors year round. Please consider becoming a member of Friends. Friends' is a 100% volunteer organization. In all cases, donations are deductible to the extent allowed by law.




1st 3rd 4th 6th 7th 8th 9th 9th 9th 10th 10th 11th 11th 12th 12th

Crosstown Chapel Sunday Service Art Show Committee Meeting Intermediate Spanish Class TC Bonsai Society Holiday Party TCVCC Cars of our Lives Auto Show Crosstown Chapel Sunday Service Rio Lindo Club Board Meeting FPSLBG Board of Directors Meeting Tarpon Bay Moorings Board Meeting PSL Orchid Society Meeting Master Naturalists Meeting Intermediate Spanish Class Ft. Pierce Jazz & Blues Jazz Jams River Vista HOA Board Meeting PSL Angler’s Meeting

9:30 - 11:45 am 3:00 - 4:00 pm 10:00 - 11:30 am 6:00 - 9:00 pm 10:00 am - 3:00 pm 9:30 - 11:45 am 10:30 am - 12:00 pm 4:30 - 6:30 pm 6:30 - 9:00 pm 12:00 - 3:00 pm 7:00 - 9:00 pm 10:00 - 11:30 am 6:30 - 9:30 pm 2:00 - 5:00 pm 5:30 - 9:30 pm


Jingle & Mingle Holiday Party

6:00 - 10:00 pm

14th 14th 14th 15th 15th 16th 17th 19th 19th 22nd 24th 25th 29th

Wacky Weeders Delights of December Plant & Gift Sale Fun at The Gardens with Santa Crosstown Chapel Sunday Service Daylily Society Meeting Sandpiper Community Board Meeting Korean War Veterans TCC106 Meeting Art Show Committee Meeting Treasure Coast Rare Fruit Club Meeting Crosstown Chapel Sunday Service Crosstown Chapel Christmas Eve Service MERRY CHRISTMAS Crosstown Chapel Sunday Service

8:00 am - 12:00 pm 9:00 am - 1:00 pm 11:00 am - 1:00 pm 9:30 - 11:45 am 2:00 - 4:00 pm 6:00 - 9:00 pm 10:00 am - 2:00 pm 3:00 - 4:00 pm 7:00 - 9:00 pm 9:30 - 11:45 am 5:30 - 7:00 pm GARDENS CLOSED 9:30 - 11:45 am

All Welcome All Welcome All Welcome Members Welcome All Welcome All Welcome Members Welcome Members Welcome HOA Members Welcome All Welcome Members Welcome All Welcome $7 Donation, $6 Members Members Welcome All Welcome FPSLBG Members & Volunteers RSVP ONLY All Welcome All Welcome All Welcome Bring Your Camera All Welcome All Welcome Members Welcome Members Welcome All Welcome All Welcome All Welcome All Welcome All Welcome




Imagine your lush, tropical yard wiped out, killed by an insect creeping throughout the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast. Homeowners are losing thousands of dollars in landscaping. Florida’s iconic palm trees are under attack from a fatal disease that turns them to dried crisps in months, with no chance for recovery once they become ill. The collapsing usually happens within four months of the tree becoming infected. Dr. Brian Bahder, an assistant professor at the University of Florida, said discoloration of orange leaves closest to the ground is a good sign that your tree may be getting sick and should be tested. Bahder and his team in Fort Lauderdale are spearheading research. The tests to confirm if palm trees have lethal bronzing are only done in their lab. "The turnpike, I-75 and I-95 -- a lot of susceptible palm trees have been planted along these major roadways more recently. And it's created an 'all you can eat' buffet for this pathogen," said Bahder. "They're probably going to be on just about any palm in any yard or any property." Spread by a rice-size, plant-hopping insect, lethal bronzing has gone from a small infestation on Florida’s Gulf Coast to a nearly statewide problem in just over a decade. Tens of thousands of palm trees have died of the bacterial disease, and the pace of its spread is increasing, adding to environmental woes of a state already struggling to save its other arboreal icon, citrus trees, from two other diseases. Florida’s official state tree – the tall, broad-leafed sabal palm – is especially susceptible, and Florida nurseries, businesses and homeowners are taking a financial hit as they scrap infected


palms. Some preventive measures can be taken, but once infected, uprooting the tree is the only practical solution. Lethal bronzing, which experts say likely originated in Mexico, also is found in parts of Texas and throughout the Caribbean. Some worry it will migrate to California and Arizona, infecting date palms and damaging that fruit crop. The disease has already heavily damaged Jamaica’s coconut plantations, and Brazil is taking preventive measures to avoid invasion. Coincidentally – but conveniently – lethal bronzing is attacking palms right outside Bahder’s office at the University of Florida’s agriculture research station near Fort Lauderdale. Some are dying, some are dead. This gives him a lab to test ideas and make presentations, so he is not removing infected trees as recommended. “To understand the disease, I need to watch it spread and see what it is doing,” said Bahder, an assistant professor with UF. Lethal bronzing’s first Florida appearance came near Tampa in 2006, but it’s now found from the Keys in the south to Jacksonville in the north. The disease is transmitted solely by the haplaxius crudus, a tiny winged insect sometimes called the American palm cixiid or, generically, a treehopper. These specific treehoppers (there are other kinds) inject the bacteria through their saliva when feasting on the sap from a palm’s leaves. Any palm cixiid that later feeds from the tree will pick up the infection and pass the bacteria to more palms. Once inside a tree, the bacteria migrate to its base, multiplying until they clog the circulatory system – much like human arteries getting blocked by fat and cholesterol. The blockage makes it impossible for the tree’s cells to get sufficient nutrients and sugars, starving

them. As an infected tree dies, its fronds and central spear leaf transform from green to a tell-tale shade of bronze as it succumbs in about six months. The disease doesn’t infect humans or animals. Genetic testing shows lethal bronzing likely originated in Mexico’s Yucatan region. Bahder’s hypothesis is that 2005′s Hurricane Wilma, which tracked from the Yucatan to Florida, or a storm with a similar path carried infected treehoppers across the gulf to Tampa. Those insects infected area palms, which infected native treehoppers. The disease spread when winds blew infected bugs to new territories or they hitched rides on vehicles. Bahder said the palm cixiid is particularly attracted to white cars. To check the spread, the state agriculture department regularly inspects palm nurseries and certifies those found free of the disease. If infected trees are discovered, they’re destroyed and the nursery’s remaining trees are quarantined for at least six weeks. Calls to about a dozen palm tree farms around the state weren’t returned – Bahder said it is a problem owners don’t like to discuss publicly, fearing it will hurt business.

massive doses of antibiotics can save trees in the infection’s early stages. After infected trees are removed, nearby palms need preventive antibiotic injections to halt the spread. Each injection costs $50 and loses effectiveness after three months: that makes injections before the disease is present too costly for most homeowners, businesses and municipal governments, Bahder said. Only highend resorts that use mature palms to enhance ambience might consider injecting trees without a nearby infection, he said. Lethal bronzing is sometimes called “Texas Phoenix palm decline” because it appeared in that state in the late 1970s, killing trees in the Rio Grande Valley around Brownsville. That state’s agriculture department says outbreaks today are infrequent and isolated. But Bahder said global warming is widening the threat. “With increased human movement around the region and, especially, stronger weather patterns in regards to climate change, there are more possible routes for invasive insects,” Bahder said.

Eric Muecke, Tampa’s urban forestry manager, said the city has had success containing the disease by keeping its palms healthy and surrounding its more susceptible palm varieties with trees that don’t attract the bacteria-spreading bugs. “It’s not like it marches through a tree population – you don’t see one dead tree after another,” Muecke said. “It hops around; it’s pretty sporadic.” Brent Gaffney, a Gainesville landscaper, said Bahder’s research is the state’s best hope for containing the disease, but only if he gets enough funding. Studies are underway on whether








Friends of PSLBG Year End Membership Renewal Special Primary Member Name: Email Address: Secondary Member Name (Family & Friends Only): Annual Membership Type:

 Individual $25

 Family & Friends $50

 Student $15

 Business $75

Additional Donation $_________________ Total Check Enclosed: $_________ or  Master Card  Visa  AMEX Card # ________________________________________Exp. Date __________ Code _________ Billing Address: ___________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ Signature: __________________________________

15 Month Membership Special Offer Expires December 31, 2019.

The Friends of Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens is a Florida non-profit corporation, and is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service, as a public charitable tax-exempt non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.



















Profile for Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens

The Gardens Gate - December 2019  

The Gardens Gate chronicles the events, volunteers and visitors to the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Featuri...

The Gardens Gate - December 2019  

The Gardens Gate chronicles the events, volunteers and visitors to the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Featuri...

Profile for pslbg

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