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Tips On Plantations > Cultural Operations : October

Cultural Operations : October     

Nursery Establishment
The germinated seeds are to be planted in seedling nurseries. Depending on the planting materials to be raised, spacing can be decided. The common spacing adopted for raising seedling stumps is 3030 cm. To produce green-budded stumps 2323 cm spacing may be followed. For brown budded-stumps, a spacing of 3030 cm or staggered pairs of rows 60 cm apart and 23 cm between plants may be adopted. The spacing adopted for budwood nursery is 90 60 cm or 12060 cm, wider spacing being between the rows.

Nursery Management

In nurseries, two and a half tonnes of compost or well-rotten cattle manure and 350 kg of powdered rock phosphate may be applied as basal dressing for every effective hectare. If the same beds are being used repeatedly, application of rock phosphate has to be made once in 3 years. In a newly-cleared forest area, compost or cattle manure is not necessary during the first year and rock phosphate alone is sufficient.

Application of 2500 kg of 10:10:4:1.5 NPKMg mixture per effective hectare, i.e., 25 kg per 100 m2 of the nursery bed, 6 to 8 weeks after planting may be done. Application of 550 kg of urea per effective hectare 6 to 8 weeks after the first application but before undertaking mulching may also be made.

The nursery beds are to be kept free of weeds. In the initial period weeding is done at least once in a month. Unhealthy and weak seedlings should be removed and only the vigorously growing plants are retained. The ideal time for this culling is two or three months after planting. The nursery beds should be mulched before the commencement of summer season. Natural materials like tree toppings, dry leaves and grass cuttings after drying are commonly used for mulching. During the dry period, the nursery should be irrigated. Daily watering is preferred during the initial weeks. Later the interval of irrigation can be reduced to once in two or three days.

In budwood nurseries, false shoot sprouting from the stock should be removed and only one vigorous bud shoot may be allowed to develop. Further pruning may be carried out to remove any side shoots developing. Effective plant protection measures should be adopted in the nurseries in time.


The quantity of fertilizer may be fixed as far possible based on soil and leaf analyses. The soil and leaf sampling can be done during this month. The second application of fertilizer for immature plants and mature trees should be made during September-October months. The first dose of fertilizer for the young plants planted this year can be applied provided sufficient moisture is available in the soil.


In budded plants pruning may be carried out to remove any side shoots developing up to 2.5 m from the ground level. Once branching has taken place at the desired height, further pruning of branches should only be made for achieving a balanced crown. Since the opening for tapping in budded plants is at the height of 125cm from the bud union, retaining branches at this height may create problems for tapping.

Disease management

Incidence of Pink disease is noticed from August to November. The disease is more damaging for plants in the age group of 2 to 12 years. Initially, pink or white coloured cobweb mycelial growth on the bark surface appears with streaks of latex oozing out from the lesions. Rotting, drying up and cracking of the affected bark may also occur later. In the initial stages of infection, when superficial mycelium only is present, Bordeaux paste may be applied on the infected parts and 30cm above and below the infected areas. When the infection is in advanced stages the pathogen penetrates into the bark and exudation of latex occurs. In such cases, Bordeaux paste may be applied initially and, after drying, the infected region may be scraped to remove all the decayed tissues and then the paste is applied again as done earlier. Dried branches should be pruned and burnt after disinfestation. Fungicides like Thiride (10 gm) incorporated in a petroleum wound dressing compound (1kg) can also be applied on the affected region as a disease control measure.

Against shoot rot and other leaf diseases, spraying with 1 per cent Bordeaux mixture on the tender green shoots and on the surface of the tender leaves of young rubber is effective. Protection of tapping panel is necessary if the monsoon prolongs. To protect the tapping panel from panel diseases during rainy season, effective panel protectants may be applied. Washing the tapping cut and the tapping panel just above with fungicide like Dithane (Indofil) M45 (5gm per L of water), once in 7-10 days, is an effective method for controlling the disease. Application of wound dressing petroleum compounds on renewed bark keeps off moisture and enables bark regeneration.

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