US (FL): Palm Beach stops short of banning ficus that attracts whitefly

Palm Beach is poised to restrict the planting of Ficus benjamina, which is a favorite food of the dreaded whitefly.

But the Town Council last week stopped short of supporting a total ban.

Existing hedges would not be affected by the ordinance, which is expected to go before the council for final approval on Jan. 8.

The town is looking to strike back against the tiny white bugs that have been preying heavily on Ficus benjamina, for decades a popular choice for privacy hedges on the island.

The council on Tuesday discussed a prohibition on all future planting of Ficus benjamina. But the majority was concerned about the aesthetic impact of forcing property owners to use other plant types to replace portions of existing Ficus benjamina hedges that are damaged or destroyed by insects, hurricanes or some other cause.

Read more at Palm Beach Daily News (William Kelly)

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