City of Greater Bendigo Parks and Natural Reserves manger Simon Harrison said it was the first time the fungus, which can be spread by the movement of soil, plant material, plant and equipment, poor horticultural hygiene practices and movement within the water table, has been discovered in Bendigo.
“This is cause for concern given that Bendigo boasts a significant number of palm species in both public and private gardens dating back to the Goldrush days," he said.
“Palms are part of our rich golden heritage and are a fantastic feature in many of our public parks and private gardens. Some are very old and it would be disappointing to lose these important species from our landscape due to this fungus."
Mr Harrison said council is encouraging all residents to take some time to inspect their palm trees.
“The main symptom that the fungus is present is visible in the decline of the palm fronds," he said.
“Some residents may have noticed a change in the condition of their palm tree over recent months and if this is the case we are suggesting that they either visit the State Government’s Department of Sustainability and Environment website www.dse.vic.gov.au to obtain a fact sheet or contact the DSE Customer Service Centre on 136 186 for further information.
“It is important to identify the disease and dispose of the palm in an appropriate manner to stop the disease from spreading if it is present.
“The council will undertake further testing on the remaining four Washingtonia Palms in the Conservatory Gardens to establish if they are also affected."