Rain trees fall prey to bugs, 150 in­fected

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - HT NAVI MUMBAI - Tas­neem Kausar ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@ hin­dus­tan­times. com

CBD BELAPUR: A large num­ber of trees in the city have for the past one month been dry­ing up. The trees have been ad­versely af­fected by mealy­bugs, which feed on plants.

A ma­jor con­cer n is t hat over 150 rain trees in Vashi and Nerul are re­ported to have been in­fected.

If ac­tion is not taken soon, hun­dreds of trees in the city could be de­stroyed.

Deputy mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sioner Chan­drakant Tayde said, “The mealy­bug men­ace has in the past few days grown im­mensely. The ar­eas which have rain t rees have been in­fested by mealy­bugs.”

On the ac­tion be­ing taken by NMMC, Tayde said, “We have sent sam­ples of the trees to Dapoli re­search cen­tre. We are ex­pect­ing a re­port from them this month.

Ac­tion will be taken ac­cord- in­gly against these in­sects to save the trees.”

Tayde as­sured of t i mely ac­tion and that it would be a sci­en­tif­i­cally- based re­sponse.

Aba Ran­ware, a tree ex­pert, said, “Im­me­di­ate ac­tion needs to be taken as af­ter the rain trees, the other trees too could come un­der at­tack.

Ran­ware said, “Cell sap from the leaves is sucked by the mealy­bugs who in­ject saliva, which is poi­sonous, into them. This causes the trees to dry up. The leaves and branches of the tree start fall­ing.”

“The af­fected branches of such trees should be im­me­di­ately trimmed and de­stroyed. Neem pulp should be ap­plied around the trunks. It will act as a re­pel­lent for the bugs,” added Ran­ware.

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