Q: I am worried about our windmill palm. All the new leaves at the top are dead. We have not had a live new leaf this year. We have had the palm since it was two feet high and it has done wonderfully up until now.
A: My guess is bud rot, caused by excess rain this summer. This disease isn’t common but it is deadly to palms. Once the central bud at the top of the tree is gone, the tree can’t produce more fronds. The lower ones will gradually wither.
Most windmill palms do fine in Georgia but yours is unlucky.
Once the top is dead, the lower limbs will gradually die.
If you like the look of a palm in your landscape, replace it with another.