The Q&A Archives: Black mildew on peaches

Question: Our peaches get black and mildewy before getting ripe enough to pick. The branches are also in this condition. What is the problem and can anything be done to correct it? Barbara Merz Shirley, NY

Answer: Your tree may be suffering from brown rot or powdery mildew. The best way to control fruit tree diseases is to start by practicing good sanitation. Remove all diseased fruit from the tree, including any dropped fruit, and destroy. Prune out infected branches, sterilizing pruners between cuts with rubbing alcohol. Keep weeds down under and around the tree. There are several commercial home orchard sprays available, and if you are hoping to get a good harvest of fruit, you may need to resort to a regular spray program. Consult local local County Extension Office (516-727-7850) for the appropriate sprays.

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