Published: Feb 14, 2013 9:49 AM EST

VENICE, Fla. (AP) - An incurable fungus is killing the Canary Island date palm trees along West Venice Avenue in downtown Venice.
    
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune (http://bit.ly/YfQQwH ) reported Thursday that city officials say they can't afford the estimated $6,000 apiece it will cost to replace the trees and the contaminated soil.
    
Sarasota Public Works Director John Veneziano says the Ganoderma butt rot fungus slowly spreads through the tree, starting from within. By the time palm fronds start dying, the fungus has already destroyed the trunk.
    
University of Florida researchers say there's no cure.
    
The city has already destroyed 21 of the 90 Canary Island palms along the thoroughfare leading to Venice Beach. To prevent spread of the disease, each tree and all the contaminated soil must be removed.
    
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Information from: Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune, http://www.heraldtribune.com

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