Tropical Gardening: What would Hawaii be without palms?

A CRB adult, left, and larva, right. The larvae of coconut rhinoceros beetles like to burrow in mulch, compost, rich soil, stumps and dead trees. (Courtesy CRB Response)

This is what feeding damage from coconut rhinoceros beetles looks like on palm fronds. (Courtesy photo)

Until recently, palms in Hawaii have had relatively few serious insect and disease problems. Unlike Florida and the Caribbean, we dodged the bullet of Lethal Yellowing. That disease destroyed most coconut palms in the region during the 20th century.