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Litchi mite

Eriophyid mite:

Both nymphs and adults infest leaves. The adult mites are small white coloured insects which live on under the surface of the leaves. The mites puncture and lacerate the tissues of the leaf and suck the cell sap. They attack the young leaves causing hairy, blister-like gall on the upper side of the leaves. The leaves become thickened, wrinkled and distorted. The leaves may ultimately fall off; the mites also attack and cause malformation of inflorescence. The attack is much severe on Bombai, China and Kasba varieties.

litchi mite

velvety growth in litchi leaves due to mite

Curling of litchi leaves due to mite

Control: Pruning and destroying the infested plant parts helps to check the mite population. Spraying of Kelthane (0.12 %) or Dimethoate (1 ml/litre) in the month of January, April and August is recommended for effective control of mites.

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Disease/Pest infestation on my Litchee tree/leaves

Hello Kamini,

I found your posts on various aspects of Litchee of great interest. I am an amateur horticulturist based in Bangalore and I have over 40 various varieties of tropical fruiting plants in my garden.

While I have 3 different types of Litchee plants (two are young, sourced from Uttarakhand and Thailand), the other one is a large tree which seems to suffer from some disease or pest infestation every year. They are similar to the mite infestation photos you have posted. I am not sure about this and am interested in knowing the suitable remedies for this- preferably organic solutions...rather than chemically toxic remedies (our tree is next to our house, and am wary of any sideaffects to the inhabitants/children and pets).

(photo of the affected leaves are available for viewing at following url: http://picasaweb.google.com/SrinivasBGarudachar/LeetchiDiseasePix?authkey=Gv1sRgCOPE8qPLhpfD1AE#  )

The leaves start curling and form external boil like structures on the top surface of the leaf, and a brown dry layer is formed on the underside of the leaf. Eventually if left untreated on the tree, the leaves just curl haphazardly, the infestation spreads rampantly and envelopes all the leaves on the various branches. What I have so far done to arrest the spread is to cut off affected branches and dispose of far away or destroy by burning. Since this is a large tree, it is not possible to cut off each and every affected branch, esp those that may be out of reach. Also, the problem with this tree is that it is next to two walls…so any digging into the soil around to add the mix of the required nutrient is not possible. I have noticed that this is a seasonal phenomenon, and has appeared every year for the past 3-4 years. Typically, we have noticed that the flowering/fruit season is in March or April. However, in 2009, we have not had any flowers so far in 2009….however, we did have an out-of-season fruiting in Nov 2008.

My questions are related to identifying the problem: whether it is due to some deficiency, pest (your artcile mentions mites as the potential offender), fungus, disease and knowing the appropriate (choice of) remedy. As mentioned I prefer an organic, safe solution to a chemical, toxic remedy.

Can you please suggest something appropriate. Email is the best way (need your email id, mine is srinivas.b.garudachar@intel.com), tho’ I can call on the phone if I can have your number.

Looking forward to you response.