Royal Poinciana Tree Dying?

PrisilitaMarch 17, 2012

Random branches of my Royal Poinciana tree have died. Before the branches dried completely, the leaves on these branches started to develop small brown/black dots until they turn yellow and fell. I thought it could be some kind of fungal disease. The branches are dying from the outside to the inside of the tree towards the main branch. Has anybody experienced anything like this? Anything I can do? I pruned the dead branches but more are starting to dry/die.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

The branches are dying from the outside to the inside of the tree towards the main branch.

===>>> how did you come to this conclusion ..

i think we need pix.. to get anywhere with this ...

words alone are not going to work ..

if you cant do a picture .. call your county extension office as ask them if you can bring in a branch.. or if someone can visit


Here is a link that might be useful: how to post pix

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 7:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you Ken I am new to the forum and gardening. The link was helpful. I will try to post pics later today. I came to the conclusion that the branches are dying that way because they start drying and changing to a darker color and leaves dying from that direction. When I look inside the branches I pruned it has small black dots that's why I thought it was some kind of fungus. :(

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 9:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5


just under the bark.. is the green cambian layer.. it is the vascular system.. moving water and food thru the plant..

when that dies.. then you see what you are seeing ... drying.. etc ....

once a branch is dead.. it can be attacked by all kinds of pathogens.. that an otherwise healthy branch would ignore..

we have to ID the cause.. not the effect ... as there arent many things.. that can hurt a healthy tree .... from the outside in ... [and if there is some local plague... that is doing such.. the extension office would know about it ]

i suspected your newbie-ness.. and so i didnt want to rely on your ID of what is going on...

we can move forward with diagnosis.. with some pix ... words alone will never work

start working your head around the fact.. that it might have to go.. and that is natures way ... maybe we can save it.. but maybe we cant ... just dont get to emotionally invested in it .. or in the alternative.. start getting a hate on for it.. so that if it has to go.. you will be mad enough that it let you down.. that you can just get rid of it ...


    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 10:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OK. Here are some of the pics I took. Thanks for the help. I grew the Royal Poinciana in a pot from seeds I got in PR. I planted 2 seeds in different pots and both sprout and grew nicely. I planted one of them on my backyard after I thought it had a decent height. That tree died about 7 months after the transplant of the same "symptoms" this other one is presenting. The other one had to go which sadden me since right after the transplant it grew rapidly and got really pretty.
I planted this second tree on another location thinking maybe it was something in the soil that had caused the other one to die. The only other info I have is that the previous owner of my home had some banana plants on the backyard that were removed prior to us moving on that part of the yard. Can that affect the soil somehow? I did not plant anything until at least a year after moving.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 10:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i dont know much about your zone.. but that all looks like superficial damage.. perhaps from a cold snap when the leaves were just emerging.. recall anything like that ...

that could also be one of the sucking insects like aphids.. but they would still be on the underside of the leaves.. did you look ...

second.. other than the blemishes.. it looks pretty happy ... it has vigor ..

third.. there is a proper season for transplant ... though i have no clue when that is in z10 .. so your planting timing may not have been precise ...

third.. smaller trees transplant easier.. perhaps it was not wise.. to let it get big.. before you moved it out of the pot ...

4th ... i have no clue if i am counting these right.. lol ... get more seed.. and keep trying..

to be frank [where is frank] ... you are a bit emotionally invested in these inanimate objects ... you have been VERY successful .... and yet.. all you want to do.. is worry about them ... i know its hard.. but try to overcome this ...

keep planting.. try for a more zen approach ... and dont sweat the details ... TOO MUCH ... odds are they will live..

finally.. unless someone from a closer zone pops in.. with more precise words of wisdom .... [i will try to contact him/her] ... contact your county extension office ...

i mean really i dont see any indication that it is dying ....

good luck


    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 10:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lol Thanks Ken. Yes I am a bit emotional lol and I will overcome it.

I live in South Florida so really no cold snap this year we had like 2 days of winter lol

No bugs on this one, I do have a battle with whiteflies attacking my mango, palms and avocado trees....been hosing them off and spraying them with neem oil.

I have more seeds of Royal Poiniana so that's good if this one doesn't make it. I was more worried that it would be something that could spread to other plants. I have a red mombin fruit tree and some of the branches were drying like the Poinciana but otherwise healthy and giving fruit.

Thanks again so much for the info and I will contact the county extension office if more branches keep dying

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 11:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i am still looking for whats his name.. lol

but i am pretty sure.. that your first problem.. is that you cant tell if those are compound leaves.. vs.. branches...

i dont have time to google it all for you.. but i THINK.. that whole structure you are calling a branch.. is in theory... ONE LEAF ...

and if so.. you are all wound up.. about one dead leaf ... to put some perspective on it ...


Here is a link that might be useful: check it out ... add the tree name ... to the search

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 7:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

So much to learn lol hmmm I will google

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 12:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

finally found salicaceae .. which i could not spell from memory for the life of me.. and sent them an email thru their members page.. and asked them to chime in ... [i googled salicaceae.. and its the willow family.. maybe i can remember that.. lol ...]

the link ... says it is sorta invasive in south FL.. but ok in mid and upper FL ...

a good way to learn.. is to take your common name to google.. and find the latin.. and then google the latin name .... and you will get much more SPECIFIC info in searching ... and then just keep opening links.. until you find one in the range of knowledge you like.. too many are so scientific they make my head spin.. but it usually doesnt take many links.. to find one right at the level which makes the lights of knowledge pop on ...


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 8:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yep! Probably easier to remember the willow family lol Thanks.

Thanks for the links. I had done some of the search when I wanted to grow it from seeds and I found a lot of info. I searched Flamboyan that's how we called it in PR. There it grows everywhere without much effort. I wanted the one with yellow flowers but could not find seeds so I brought from the red flowers instead. Here in SF there's a lot them too only the red flower kind though I've seen the yellow in Tampa.

It bugs me that ths is the second time that this is happening to a pest resistant, rapid growing, easy to care for tree on my yard lol why! If it seems to grow everywhere without px's -I will let it be and see what happens.I understand what you said now about the compound leaves vs branches. The drying occurs in both.

Btw I found that there is a dwarf of this tree that you can grow on a pot, wow it must look beautiful.

I apologize for my " newbieness" I have questions regarding my others trees as well ( mango, avocado, red mombin) about fruit spraying/ pest management. I've done a lot of searches and read a lt of posts, you guys know your stuff and I trust your recommendations.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 8:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
salicaceae(z8b FL)

Where in Florida are you? These don't survive north of Tampa well due to cold. There are several diseases that attack them as well.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 10:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

thx for showing willow ...

are you suggesting that MAYBE a cold snap at leaf extension.. could result in the pock markings of the leaves????

what happens up here in MI ... is that a frost on a hosta leaf.. can burst single cells inside of the leaf ... but it looks like nothing happened that day.. a few weeks later.. all these brown spots start appearing.. as those cells start browning.. leaving ugly .. but otherwise functional leaves ...

do you recall any of the citrus growers complaining of a cold snap.. back when this thing was leafing out ....

let us know if you get any info from the extension office ..

and i doubt you will ever know what happened to that one set of leaves.. just prune it out ...


    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 10:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I live in Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 12:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Btw I emailed my extension office this am

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 4:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pteroceltis(z5 Syracuse)

That's about how the Silktrees (Albizia julibrissin) and Leadtrees (Leucaena leucocephala) look towards the end of summer in Tempe, AZ. Not familiar with poinciana except that it's a close relative of those two; maybe those are older leaves that the plant is about to evacuate in preparation for a flush of new growth?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 1:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"Prisilita" have you received any specific info? I am having the exact same problem.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 6:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"salicaceae" what are the diseases???

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 6:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I live in South Florida. Within the past week I noticed the attached picture with "spots" on the trunk of my RP Tree. They appeared quickly and may be spreading (note 3rd area without the center exacerbation).

I am extremely concerned and would appreciate any insight/direction. Thank you.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 8:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

bev.. you should have started your own post...

looks like animal damage ...or mechanical damage... the edges look torn.. on this pic ...rather than decayed.. as i would expect from a disease issue ...

it should heal itself.. NOTHING else to do.. IMHO ...

except try to figure out what is doing it... any puma in your area.. as it looks sorta like cat scratch damage.. but much larger ... and its the wrong season for buck damage ... unless its been there since fall .. and i am really guessing.. with your FL location and all ... maybe a maniacal manatee???? .. i think i should hit send ... lol


    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 9:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Prisilita, There is a good chance your tree will be fine. I have been growing these trees & giving them away for at least 15 years. It is normal for the leaves to turn yellow & fall off at different intervals (Although your brown leaves look a little different) I added a photo of one I am doing a Bonsai. It is approx 5 yrs old. Note the bare limb in the left rear. Leaves turned yellow & fell off. Limb will follow. I always grow them from new young trees growing beneath my 30 ft tree. When they are young, it is not unusual for all the leaves & limbs to fall off in the Winter & come bk in late Winter or early spring. My large tree is just now leafing & flowering. In trying to Bonsai the one in the photo, I completely cut the complete head off the past two Winters leaving just the thick stem, & you can see it has come bk strong. Good Luck. If you want to grow more try finding babies below a Mature tree (Still some rt now), start in a small pot & move up. Like a lot of water when they are young

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 1:13PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Temporary Potting Small Trees - Central Florida
I have a small Magnolia tree, about 2 1/2' tall, and...
Does anyone on here have a Cercis canadensis - Eastern Redbud Tree?
I want to get a couple of them. Are they wind tolerant?...
Magnolias too close to house?
I bought my house just over a year ago and have been...
Green Giant Thuja- Is it True how fast it grows???
Hi there, we recently moved and wanted a privacy hedge...
Trees for wet heavy clay soil?
Trees for wet heavy clay soil? The soil is sort of...
Sponsored Products
Royal Solar LED Bronze 85" High Outdoor Lamp Post
Lamps Plus
Elk Lighting 91-782 Tolbert Teapot Table Lamp - 91-782
$126.00 | Hayneedle
Home Decorators Accent Rug: Appollo Lite Gray 2' 6" x 4' 6"
$75.00 | Home Depot
Tom Dixon | Beat Light - Stout
Royal Ruby Montage Down by the Shore Cooler
$32.99 | zulily
Royale Satin Nickel Widespread Bathroom Faucet
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™