Agricultural Experts have directed growers to protect mango orchards from frost damage. Cold temperature badly affects the mango plants, so proper management is necessary in order to save the plants during severe cold period. Frost can scorch the leaves of fruit trees while reducing their health and sometimes interfering with fruiting. If the temperature goes below 4◦C, then the nursery plants are greatly damaged. However, large plants to some extent can resist it.
They said mango is known as king of fruits and there are wide range of varieties that are grown in Pakistan. Due to the best quality, sweet taste and bulk production, these are exported to different countries of the world and Pakistan earn good foreign exchange. Therefore, plant protection should be our priority. Punjab is the major mango growing district. About 60 percent production of mango comes from Punjab and hence it is the main centre of production. During the cold nights, when the temperature goes down, the plants remove the heat rapidly and become cold.
Frost damage occurs when ice forms inside the plant tissue and injures plant cells. Due to which the chemical composition of the cell is greatly changed or either lost. The delicate parts of plants are susceptible to the damage. Common types of damage occurring in orchards include: death of dormant flower buds, dieback of trees, and frost damage to tender shoots. Bark in many orchards has curled and is drying with many small cracks. Dead patches of bark are stirring in various locations on limbs and trunk. In young mango orchards twigs are severely damaged and leaves rapidly shed.
Experts have instructed gardeners to take immediate precautions to protect the orchards from hazardous effects of frost. Mulch should be done around the base of the mango tree in mid-fall before the first frost. Water must be given once every week or two from late fall throughout the winter. Before an expected freeze, water the soil well and lay some more mulch on top of that. This helps raise heat from the ground. Plants can be protected from freezing temperatures by draping a blanket over the tree completely, tightening it around the bottom of the base of the tree with a tightly pulled rope.