As unmistakable as the fruit of a coconut tree, diseases that affect the tree are just as distinguishable. Diseases can be specific to target the fruit, making it inedible or prohibit mature development, while others can be detrimental to the tree itself. Some diseases are prevalent in certain regions; all signs of any of the diseases should be taken seriously.
Lethal yellowing, also called phytoplasma, is the most common and widespread disease that affects coconut trees. The near-microscopic bacterium causes yellowing fruit to drop and, in more severe cases, the death of the tree.
Bud rot is a fungal disease that affects coconut trees. Early symptoms include brown, sunken spots on young, developing leaves. The infection then moves inward toward the bud, then to surrounding leaves. Once a tree is affected with bud rot, young nuts will not develop. Bud rot can affect both juvenile and adult trees.
Trunk rot is a devastating disease that causes one side of a coconut trunk to rot and eventually collapse. A wound in the soft trunk tissue must be present in order for trunk rot to establish itself. No treatment is available for trunk rot.