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Visual health assessments for palms

Blair, Seth A., Koeser, Andrew K., Knox, Gary W., Roman, Lara A., Thetford, Mack
Urban forestry & urban greening 2019 v.41 pp. 195-200
Arecaceae, climate, forest growth, longevity, mortality, tree health, urban areas, urban forests
Palms (family Arecaceae) can make up a significant portion of the urban forest in the climates where they are viable. Despite this, they are rarely included in the urban forest growth and longevity literature. One difficulty associated with including palms in research is an absence of a standard means for characterizing tree health or condition. Whether used as a measured response of its own or incorporated as a predictor of future mortality, standardized and meaningful health ratings are needed to advance the care and management of palms in urban areas. In this short communication, we investigate some of the rating systems used in past palm research. We then propose an adaptation of existing tree health rating processes based on insights from these past attempts and our own experience in qualifying palm health.