Staff Report MULTAN: Horticulturists have advised mango growers especially in Punjab to take timely steps to tackle mango malformation disease to avoid production losses.

In a press statement issued by the Punjab Agriculture Department, the experts said botanical malformation attacks new plants while flower malformation attacks flowers.

The disease leaves the leaf shorter in size and pointed and affects the growth of branches. Its attack on 3-4 month old nursery plants stops growth and affected branches get dried up within few months.

Slightly older plants continue growth above the affected areas, however, intense attack stops the growth and fruit formation process.

Plants of the age of 4-8 years get affected by the disease by 90 percent. Developing nursery in diseased plants is a common cause of the disease and its spread. The intensity of disease varies in accordance with weather conditions.

Experts suggested that farmers should cut the malformation affected branches. In case of green branches, the affected branch should be cut along with 15-20 cm portion of healthy branch. The detached branches should be burnt or buried outside the orchard.

Balanced application of fertilizers and micro-nutrient should be ensured at proper time. Agriculture officials should be consulted for chemical solution to counter the disease.

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