Across the City of Port Phillip


Why are we doing this?

Fusarium wilt is a serious disease that affects Canary Island Date Palms (Phoenix canariensis) across the world including Australia.

Fusarium wilt has been present in the City of Port Phillip for almost 20 years. Council's tree management staff and tree contractor are familiar with identifying and managing it. An inspection of all palms on Council-managed land is undertaken annually.

Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for this disease, and infection will eventually kill the tree. We are currently working toward a strategy to manage our long-term response to the disease.

This disease affects trees and is not transmittable to humans.

The impact


We have strict biosecurity protocols in place when working with all potentially infected palms. Please keep clear of the soil surrounding these palms, to prevent the spread of disease to healthy palms. We will be putting signage up at all palms that are potentially infected to alert people walking past.

We are actively managing the outbreak by:

  • inspecting palms annually
  • testing any palms showing symptoms
  • removing any palms within one month of a positive Fusarium wilt diagnosis month to contain the disease and limit spread to other palms
  • ensuring strict biosecurity protocols are used for all palm maintenance including frond trimming and removal of dead fronds
  • restricting pedestrian movement on soil areas around known infection areas
  • installing signs in known infected areas to inform the community of the disease and to stay off garden areas.

Current outbreak and tree removal

Following the most recent round of testing, 11 palms tested positive for Fusarium, these and a number of other dead palms identified during this inspection process, will be removed.

We are currently looking into curative treatment options with a range of service providers, and whilst we are having promising discussions, we have not yet identified a proven control agent.

Removal of infected palms is currently the only effective method to control the spread of Fusarium. Works are scheduled to commence 14 August 2023.

The palms programmed for removal have been signed. They are in the following locations:

Middle Park

  • Front of 210 Beaconsfield Parade
  • Front of 189 Beaconsfield Parade
  • Front of 195 Beaconsfield Parade

Albert Park

  • Front of Beaconsfield Parade
  • Front of 150 Beaconsfield Parade
  • Front of Opp 78 Beaconsfield Parade

St Kilda

  • 3 palms at St Kilda Marina Skate Park
  • 2 palms on Jacka Boulevard, adjacent the intersection with Lower Esplanade

Council acknowledges that this removal will impact the amenity for some residents.

Stump removal will occur in the weeks following the removal of the trunks. The tree plots will be planted out with native ground covers by the end of October. Planting out the plots is an interim measure while the long-term planting strategy is being finalised.

If you have any questions, please contact 03 9209 6777.

About Fusarium Wilt