Partial Stem Parasite – Loranthus or Bandgul
1. It is common parasites of mango trees. In Northern India 60-90% of mango trees and large no of other trees are heavily or moderately infected by these parasites.
2. Loranthus Dendro-phthae falcate, the most common species in India is the semi parasitic of the tree trunk and branches. Their leaves posses chlorophyll and synthesize carbohydrate constituent of their food requirement.
3. Since the parasite attacks the aerial part of host tree, situated far above the soil level and as such devoid of root system of its own.
4. The parasite attacks, the aerial parts of the host trees, by developing haustoria and obtain its nourishment directly from the vascular system of the host plant.
5. The continuous sucking of the food material by parasite resulting the host to die.
6. The place at which host is attached and where the haustoria penetrates often swell to form tumours which vary in size according to age of the parasites.
7. The flowers of parasites are borne in clusters. They are long tabular in shape and usually greenish, red or white in colour according to species.
8. The fruit is fleshy and contains a solitary seed. It is sweet eaten by birds and animals.
9. The parasite is spread by dispersal of its seed, mostly through birds and to some extent by other animals.
10. The damage done by the parasite is most marked in production of new growth of the host. The quantity and yield of fruit is considerably lowered. Leaves are reduced in size and show unhealthy green colour.
Control Measures of Loranthus:
1. Scrapping of parasite before seedling from the infected bunches.
2. Sowing of branches sufficient low to the tumours.
3. Injection of CuSo4 or 2-4-D into the infected branches has been found effectively in eradicating the parasite from mango.