The Q&A Archives: peach tree problem

Question: We planted a peach tree last year and this year it has peaches on it. The peaches are growing but I have noticed that they have black spots that resemble mold on them. What is it and can i get rid of it?

Answer: Without actually seeing the problem, I can only venture an educated guess. It sounds like bacterial spot. Bacterial spot attacks the fruit, leaves, and current season's twigs. Fruit infections appear as tiny purple to black flecks on the fruit surface of peaches, and as water-soaked spots on nectarines and other smooth skinned Prunus spp. Later, the skin is "broken" and the flesh beneath the spot becomes sunken.

Chemical sprays may help to reduce the levels of fruit and leaf infection. To be effective, spray applications must be applied before symptoms occur. (So it's too late for this year's crop). The first spray is usually a copper compound applied just before tree growth resumes in the spring. This is followed by weekly applications of an antibiotic beginning at petal fall (alternating apllications of antibiotic and copper may be effective, also, although many stone fruits are sensitive to copper and injury from copper may be difficult to distinguish from damage caused by the pathogen). The 3-week period following petal fall is critical for early-season fruit infection and establishment of inoculum on new foliage. Rainfall during this period is favorable for infection.

Best wishes with your peach tree!

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