Parasites, termites and earthworms leave a trail of dead trees in Dwarka
Parasites, termites and earthworms leave a trail of dead trees in Dwarka
Akhilesh Pandey
Parasites, termites and earthworms leave a trail of dead trees in Dwarka A tree under attack of Cuscuta creeper in Dwarka
Photo: Akhilesh Pandey, City Spidey
Parasites, termites and earthworms leave a trail of dead trees in Dwarka

Another winter is ending. It is that time of the year when trees and shrubs and plants are under attack from termites, earthworms and a deadly parasite – Cuscuta (Amarbel) creeper. 

These parasite attacks leave behind a trail of dead trees on either side of the roads. This time too the situation is no different in Dwarka.  Infact this winter, according to experts on parasite attacks the attacks seem to be more severe.

Even the shrubs and hedges in the parks of residential colonies are reeling the attack of Cuscuta that spreads rapidly.

PK Datta, a nature lover and resident of Sector 19, who spreads awareness on techniques to preserve plants and trees, said, “This parasite creeper generally kills the host plant or tree. Though  it  has some medicinal properties, it cannot be allowed to grow and thrive as it is a clear threat to other species of plants and trees."

According to Datta these creepers should be removed and buried in a deep hole.

This year,  new vegetation and hedges are the worst affected.

One can see the parasite creeper spreading rapidly in the parks in Sectors 3,4,5,6,9,10,11,12,16,17,18,22 and 23.  Residents say that last year only Sector 12 and 19 were affected. 

RL Mishra, a scientist (Floriculturist) from Pusa and a resident of Brahma Society,  Sector 7, said, “This parasite keeps Haustorium (root), which enters into the stems of the plants and trees and depletes their energy. It spreads fast and covers the entire plant in few days.”

An eminent gardener and expert on the subject, Vijay Dhasmana focused on several points related to Cuscuta.  In his words, "Birds are the major carriers of this parasite creeper. Cuscuta fruits are eaten by birds and the seeds are littered on branches of trees and plants.”

In Dwarka, hundreds of dead trees are lined up on either sides of the roads. Other than the fatal creeper, termites too have attacked these trees. According to an official from DDA, horticulture department, sheesham trees are the worst affected from termites and earthworms.

The DDA has now stopped planting sheesham trees. Instead it is focusing on the Ficus species that can sustain itself in this climate.

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