Dying Mango tree

kisanbhatOctober 15, 2012

I have a small fruit garden with forty various fruit plants in South India ( coastal area).

I planted 5 mango trees in 2009. This season (2012) I had lot of mangoes and were very delicious. As soon as the season got over three plants died. First the leaves dried up and became brown and then the branches became very brittle. The fourth one whose picture I have uploaded is drying up too.

What must be the reason for this. Monsoon just got over and my land has a bit of a natural slope for rain water to drain down and not flood around the plants.

Here is the link of the mangoes this season.

Thanks in advance.

Kisan

Here is a link that might be useful: Mangoes this season

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kisanbhat

The picture did not appear in the first message here it the image of the tree

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 12:35AM
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tropicbreezent

I don't think it would be from monsoon rains anyway because my neighbours (across the road) have more than a dozen of their trees sitting in water for a few months during the monsoon season. Dry season of course the ground dries out completely. The trees are okay and healthy. The problem could be something like termites, if you have them there. Mangos are very susceptible to some of the termites we have here. Does anyone else near you grow mangos? Do they have the same problem? You might find the answer there.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 4:45AM
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Doglips(8b/9a)

You need to do an autopsy on the deceased. Examine the roots and trunk, cut them open. I thought termites eat dead wood, not living?

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 7:32AM
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tropicbreezent

There are termites that eat only grass, those that eat dead wood, and those that eat live wood (even things live like tomatoes, passionfruit, etc.). That type if death in trees is typical of termite infestation.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 11:48AM
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kisanbhat

Thanks for a quick reply. How does one get rid of termite infestation? This will help me keep the rest of the trees alive. I too suspected about it. I see dark patches on the branches. When i rubbed my hand nothing got transferred. Check attached image. Is this the termite patch?

Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 2:28AM
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tropicbreezent

Usually the termites tunnel through the middle of the tree often without any signs on the outside. That black looks unusual. Can the bark be broken away where it's black? If you cut through the dead branches you should see the termite tunnels inside. Usually you'll see some of the termites as well. Any breaks in their tunnels they will block up fairly quickly. That shows you they're still living in that tree.

Termites live in a colony, so to get rid of them you have to get rid of the whole colony. That's done by injecting a poison inside t6he nest. Another method is to place baits for them. It depends on what's available where you are. Check with your local agricultural department to see what they recommend.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 9:39AM
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Doglips(8b/9a)

The black looks more like disease to me. It is all sunken in like it is rotting. Maybe the disease happened after the infestation....

I think termite traps are design more for taking out scout termites looking for a new food source, and letting you know that they are there. Anyone seen Timmy?

If you are already infested, I think it would take more drastic actions. You gotta take out the queen b****.

The bottom of the tree could have been eaten away and you may not see them in an extreme branch. Cut into the tree lower.

You have my sympathy, it looks like an ugly problem.

I would like to hear what the final diagnosis is when you make one.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 2:59PM
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kisanbhat

Thanks for all your replies. Today a person from the govt. department came and checked the plant and he said it is a fungus called dieback fungus. He asked me to use any systemic funguscide chemical. I will try out DithaneM45 with Ekalux.

Thanks again for your help. Let me know if there are aany more suggestions.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 10:19AM
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Doglips(8b/9a)

Wikipedia does have a article on this, it does give some suggestions like proper mulching.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phytophthora_cinnamomi

I remember reading elsewhere that while you can't control whether or not fungus exists you can control some of the factors for when it spreads. Like any life form it needs the right environment to thrive. Temperature, food, and water in the right quantities being the chief components of outbreaks. Eliminate one of the three, and you can eliminate an outbreak. At least in lawns, fungus likes high nitrogen environments. Excessive water is another component that you can have some control over. You really can't do much about temperature. I'd say to try reducing the amount of fertilizer in the soil as the rainy season approaches. Then after it is over, resume.
You also may want to try fungicides leading into the rainy season as well, even when it is not a visible problem. You may be able to put a dent in the population before it has a chance to spread. You are never going to be able to kill it off completely, but you may be able to make it manageable.
Tons of assumptions and suggestions here, take with a grain of salt.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 2:32PM
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tropicbreezent

The major fungus problem here is Anthracnose, which affects the leaves and fruit. There's fungus everywhere, the spores travel like fine dust on the wind. After the mangos start flowering here the general practice is to spray a fungicide to reduce any potential outbreak of Anthracnose. But it is already on branches, particularly dead ones. So dead woood is removed and preferably burned. This all reduces the amount of spores being spread. Of course, Anthracnose doesn't kill the trees outright, so the tree keeps growing and replacing any part that does die off. The die-back you have is far more lethal in that respect. If it's in the soil and affects the roots then it can be difficult to control.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 12:37AM
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