The Q&A Archives: Peach Leaf Curl

Question: Do you have a cure for "peach leaf curl"? How do we prevent/cure it?

Answer: Peach Leaf Curl can affect leaves, flowers, tender shoots and even fruit. Diseased leaves will fall off, but unaffected leaves will grow on normally. Once you see the problem it is too late to correct it for this season. Sanitary measures certainly can't hurt, so you may want to collect and discard fallen, affected leaves, and to prune twigs with the small, seldom noticed swellings caused by the infection.

Infection occurs in spring when temperatures are around 68 degrees and surface moisture is present on the buds. Therefore the problem doesn't occur every year with the same severity.

The lowest toxicity option for effective control is to apply a copper fungicide at the beginning of dormancy in the fall, or early in the spring, just as the leaf buds begin to swell. Copper will cause the peach tree to lose it's leaves, so spray early, or wait until the leaves begin to fall to apply it. Note that copper can stain masonry blue, so be careful in applying the spray if your tree is near a sidewalk, rock wall of your home, etc.

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