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Sunday
, April 14, 2002
Garden Life

Save trees from sun
Satish Narula

Burnt white patches on the leaves of the lemon tree
Burnt white patches on the leaves of the lemon tree

HAVE you noticed the burnt white patches that have started appearing on leaves of lemon trees. Perhaps it came to your notice or you thought probably it was one of those usual garden diseases or an injury inflicted by some insect. It is none. The hot punch that the sun is gaining with every passing day is the reason.

Lemon leaves are quick to reflect injury by the summer sun. There appear white patches on the leaves with surrounding areas showing yellowish brown burnt patches. As the sun becomes more severe, it affects the fruit. The side of the fruit that is exposed to the sun has damaged skin and has a watery appearance at that spot. The skin also becomes weak and is prone to splitting. This is one of the reasons of fruit splitting in lemon when there is sudden copious watering of plants under such conditions.

There is, however, no remedy for this kind of injury and as the rainy season starts, new healthy leaves start appearing. So one should go on giving light and frequent irrigation at fixed, regular intervals.

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The summer sun may take its toll in case of young plants too. The plantís canopy in such cases is not sufficient to protect its main stem from the heat of the sun. It results in splitting of the main stem, and injury that remains with the life of the plant. There is often mortality too when such plants are subjected to water stress conditions.

There are various ways of protecting such plants. Providing thatch cover is one and whitewashing the main stem another. For this purpose prepare the whitewash the usual way and sieve it through a cloth. Add to it a little quantity each of Copper Oxychloride (blitox) and lindane dust. These will take care of fungal infection and insects, respectively.

The irrigation needs of the plants will be enhanced with the rise of temperature. Especially those plants like mango, grape, litchi, peach, plum etc that are in the process of setting fruit or have developing fruits on the tree should in no way be subjected to water stress conditions.

Any stress at this time may lead to shrivelling of the fruit or fruit splitting. The frequency of irrigation in grapes, peach, plum etc comes from ten to seven to three days. The plant basins could be provided with some mulch such as wood and grass shavings and stones.

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This feature was published on April 7, 2002
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