The Q&A Archives: pest or diseases.

Question: Hello,i have a peach tree in my backyard, witch last yaer produce a lot of fruit but this year it's very bad the hole leaves are

Answer: Sounds like Peach leaf curl which is caused by the fungus Taphrina deformans. The fungus survives the winter as spores (conidia) on bark and buds. Infection occurs very early in the growing season. During cool, wet spring weather the conidia infect new leaves as they emerge from the buds. Host plant tissues are susceptible for only a short period. As the tissues mature they become resistant. The fungus produces another type of spore (ascospore) on the upper surface of the diseased leaves. During wet weather, ascospores produce additional conidia by budding. These conidia are carried to other parts of the tree by rain and wind, where they will overwinter until the next spring. Environment can limit leaf curl infection. This partially explains why the disease does not occur every year. Leaf curl is worse when the weather is cool and wet. Low temperatures are thought to retard maturation of leaf tissue, thus prolonging the time infection may occur. The fungus can penetrate young peach leaves readily at temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees F, but only weakly below 45 degrees F. Rain is necessary for infection. Leaf curl can be controlled with one well-timed fungicide application, either in the autumn after 90% of the leaves have fallen, or in the spring before bud swell.

Look in the garden center for fruit tree sprays and make sure both the disease and "peach trees" is listed on the label. Spray your tree as directed on the label.

Good luck with your peach tree!

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