Mangoes are one of the most popular fruits in India. They are available all year round and are considered as a delicacy throughout the world. However, they have their own set of problems which need to be managed properly if you want your fruit to grow well and remain healthy.
The main problem with mangoes is that they suffer from several diseases and pests which affect them very badly even when grown under optimal conditions. These include anthracnose (Anthracnose), powdery mildew (Powdery Mildew) and leaf drop (Leaf Drop).
These diseases cause the fruit to turn brown and shrivel up leaving it unmarketable. There are many different varieties of mangoes but they all share some common characteristics such as being small, having low yields, high water requirements and high maintenance.
How To Manage Mango Disease: Tips For Treating A Sick Mango Tree
1. Cultivate Your Landscape Properly!
Cultivating a good landscape will ensure that your mangoes are not exposed to too much sun or wind damage. You must make sure that there is no overgrowth of any kind on the ground around your mango grove.
2. Weeding Regularly
You should not wait for an overgrowth to occur before you start weeding your landscape. You should maintain regular weeding at all times and get rid of any plant which is growing around the base of your tree or even competing with it for nutrients and sunlight.
3. Stay Away From Chemicals
Chemical fertilizers, especially the ones which have a high content of nitrogen, can actually help in the development of anthracnose. You should always stay away from chemicals and instead opt for natural fertilizers such as compost or animal manure.
4. Compost Your Leaves
Instead of raking up your fallen leaves, you should instead opt to put them into a compost pit where they can rot down naturally. This will provide your mango tree with all the nutrients that it would have otherwise sucked out of the leaves had you just raked them up.
5. Water In The Morning
You should water your tree during the early hours of the day rather than at night. Watering in the daytime is preferable as it gives the foliage time to dry off before the night arrives and ensures that there isn’t any mold or fungus which can develop because of trapped moisture.
6. Watch For Mites
anthracnose thrives in environments where the air is very humid. You should keep an eye on the level of humidity around your trees and look out for scale insects, whiteflies and mealy bugs, all of which can contribute to a very humid atmosphere.
7. Mulch Carefully
You should apply mulch under your trees but do it carefully. Nitrogen rich mulches can actually increase the chances of getting an infection of anthracnose. You should always avoid using manure, urine, blood, bone, feathers or human hair.
8. Choose Your Varieties Carefully
The type of varieties that you choose to plant make a huge difference to the number of diseases and pests that may attack it. Some varieties like Manalaysam are more resistant to certain types of attacks than others.
9. Quarantine New Trees
You should always quarantine any new trees that you buy before you incorporate them into your main grove. Keep them in a separate place for at least a year and observe their behavior carefully. This will allow you to spot any potential problems which the tree may have and deal with them straight away so as to prevent its spread throughout your grove.
10. Be Careful Where You Buy
The place where you buy your trees from can have a huge bearing on your chances of getting a diseased tree. Never buy from somewhere which is heavily infected with any particular disease as the chances are that you will also be getting an infected tree. Always choose a reputable dealer and always ask to inspect the tree before buying it.
How To Manage Mango Thrips: Preventative And Treatment Tips
1. Mango thrips prefer to feed and breed within the flowers of mango trees so one of the best ways to prevent an infestation is to simply remove and destroy any flowers before they even have a chance to attract the insects.
2. As well as destroying the flowers you should also destroy any fallen petals as these can harbor high levels of thrips eggs.
3. You should also keep your tree free of any weeds as these can also be a breeding ground for thrips.
4. You can use a natural product called Beneficial Nematodes which kills off the Thrip’s larvae, however it does not work instantly so you will need to use it in conjunction with another treatment method.
5. There are a number of organic pesticides which can be used to kill off mango thrips such as the Neem based products, Azadirachtin and Pyrethrum.
6. It is also recommended that you increase the humidity around your tree as this very effective in killing off the Thrip’s larvae.
You can do this by hanging a water filled plastic bag from the branches.
7. Finally you can also try growing a species of aphid which feed on the Thrip and actually keep their numbers under control.
These are commonly known as beneficial aphids.
As you can see from the above list there are a number of ways in which you can treat a mango thrips infestation. It is important to try and use as many of these as possible so that you get the maximum result.
The Essentials Of Managing Crown Rot
1. Crown Rot Is Caused By A Fungus
The exact species of fungus which causes the problem is called Aspergillus flavus and it is often found in soil which has a high content of nitrogen. One way to reduce the risk of your trees getting infected is to avoid placing them in such soil. You should also avoid planting in frost hollows as these are also more likely to contain the fungus.
2. You Cannot Treat Crown Rot
Trying to treat crown rot is not recommended as it is almost impossible to get rid of the fungus once it has infected the tree. Even if you use a fungicide it is likely that the tree will eventually die. The best way to prevent crown rot from killing your tree is to ensure that it remains healthy in the first place. One way of doing this is by regularly watering it during dry spells.
3. The Tree Will Display Symptoms Of Unthriftiness
As the name suggests crown rot will eventually cause parts of the tree to rot and become deformed. This usually starts at the top of the tree and works its way gradually down. The leaves will also begin to turn yellow and fall off prematurely. These are just some of the visual signs that can help you determine if your tree has crown rot but it is not always easy to spot the disease in its early stages.
4. The Fungus Spreads Through The Roots And Above Ground Parts Of The Tree
Aspergillus fungi can spread to other parts of the tree through both its roots and its sapwood. This is one of the reasons why crown rot is so difficult to treat as you cannot effectively separate the infected parts from the rest of the tree.
5. You Can Treat Crown Rot To Prevent It From Spread
If you catch the disease early enough you can treat the tree and try to prevent it from spreading. This involves making a number of vertical cuts into the trunk all the way around it. You will then pour a solution containing aluminium sulphate into these cuts.
6. You Cannot Cure A Tree Which Has Crown Rot
Once the crown rot disease has taken hold it is almost impossible to save the tree. The best approach is to remove and replace the tree with a new one as soon as possible. This isn’t always easy or convenient but it is the only way to prevent the disease from spreading.
7. Crown Rot Spreads Slowly
Most people don’t realize they have a problem until several years after they first notice the yellowing of leaves at the top of their tree. By this time it is often too late for the tree to be saved and so its best to replace it as soon as possible.
8. Crown Rot Is A Serious Problem
Crown rot is one of the main reasons why many homeowners in Texas are being forced to remove and replace their ash trees. It is a problem which has already spread to neighbouring states and it won’t be long before it becomes a serious issue elsewhere.
Once crown rot takes hold of a tree it spreads throughout the entire plant very quickly. This can result in the tree becoming completely rotten and ready to fall over within a few short years.
9. You Cannot Treat Crown Rot Once It Sets In
As mentioned, crown rot is difficult to treat and even if you were able to remove all traces of the disease, the tree will almost certainly die within a few years. If you want to save your tree it is best to start treating it as early as possible.
10. You Can Prevent Crown Rot By Watering The Tree
Crown rot spreads as a result of the tree parts drying out. It is essential that you make sure your tree receives adequate water during long, hot dry spells. If you notice the leaves at the top beginning to turn yellow it’s a good indication that your tree could do with a drink. You should also mulch the soil around the plant to reduce water loss through transpiration.
11. There Are No Known Chemicals Which Can Treat The Disease
One of the reasons why crown rot is so difficult to treat is that there are no known chemicals which can prevent or cure it. Fungicides can be used to slow down the spread of the disease but they are not a permanent solution to the problem and must be used over a long period of time.
12. Crown Rot Spreads Slowly
If crown rot is allowed to spread it can destroy your tree very quickly but this isn’t always the case. The disease can remain dormant within the tree for many years and only become active when conditions become suitable. Because of this, it can spread to other parts of the tree even if you remove all the visible symptoms.
13. Crown Rot Begins In The Crown
Crown rot begins at the base of the tree and works its way up. It starts by attacking the roots and working its way up the trunk. Over time it attacks the branches and then finally reaches the crown where it chews away at the leaves and branches, turning them a yellowish colour.
After this point, crown rot is difficult to stop and can result in the demise of your tree.
14. You Can Treat Crown Rot By Removing All The Affected Wood
As with most tree diseases, the best way to treat crown rot is usually to remove all the infected parts of the tree. This means that you need to scan the entire plant and remove all yellowish leaves and branches. If you don’t do this, it allows the disease to spread throughout the tree.
15. You Can Treat Crown Rot By Felling The Tree
If you feel that a tree has become beyond help or it is causing serious structural problems, you can fell the tree completely. You need to make sure that you fell the tree so that it falls away from nearby buildings and power lines. You should also make sure that you either utilise the wood or dispose of it properly because left untreated, the ground beneath the tree can become very prone to rot damage.
Sources & references used in this article:
Mango diseases and their control by W Nishijima – 1993 – scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu
A review of the pest management situation in mango agroecosystems by JE Pena, AI Mohyuddin, M Wysoki – Phytoparasitica, 1998 – Springer
The chemical treatments combined with antagonistic yeast control anthracnose and maintain the quality of postharvest mango fruit by KP Akhtar, SS Alam – Pak. J. Biol. Sci, 2002
Mangifera indica (mango) by Y SHAO, J ZENG, T Hong, Z Yi, LI Wen – Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2019 – Elsevier
Mango Decline: Research in Florida on an apparently wide-spread disease complex by ISE Bally – Species profiles for pacific island …, 2006 – doc-developpement-durable.org
Some economically important fungal diseases of mango and their integrated management by RC Ploetz, D Benscher, A Vázquez, A Colls… – V International Mango …, 1996 – actahort.org
The art and design of genetic screens: Caenorhabditis elegans by OM Prakash, AK Misra – Biological Memoirs, 1999 – researchgate.net
Malaria‐related beliefs and behaviour in Southern Ghana: Implications for treatment, prevention and control by EM Jorgensen, SE Mango – Nature Reviews Genetics, 2002 – nature.com