Peach Tree - Knowledgebase Question

Dunnellon, Fl
Avatar for twinklebug44
Question by twinklebug44
July 11, 2010
I have a peach tree, which I have potted each year in spring(2 times) now in a large pot. It has red/brown spots on only the top 1/4-1/3 of the leaves. The others look healthy. My tree has not given us any fruit yet. I don't know the name of the tree,it does not have a tag but I purchased it in my home town of Crystal River, Fl and was told it would produce fruit the following year. Now the 3rd y

Answer from NGA
July 11, 2010
It sounds like bacterial leaf spot but it might also be peach leaf curl. I can't tell without looking at the leaves. In bacterial leaf spot the bacterium Xanthomonas pruni overwinters in twigs that are infected late in the season about the time leaves are shed. The following spring, when environmental conditions are favorable, bacteria ooze out onto the surface of these twigs. The bacteria are then spread by windblown or splashing rain and can result in new infections throughout the growing season. The bacteria come in contact with healthy leaves, fruit and current-year twigs and enter the tissues through stomata or lenticels when surface moisture is present. Once inside healthy tissues, the bacteria multiply and disease develops.

Warm temperatures (70-85 degrees F, 2l-29 degrees C) with light rains, heavy dews or fogs and windy weather are most conducive for disease development and spread. The disease makes little progress when weather is hot and dry.

In peach leaf curl, the fungus Taphrina deformans is the culprit and while it cannot be controlled once you recognize the disease, you can spray with a fungicide early next spring when new leaves are emerging.

Rather than guessing, why not take a few of the affected leaves to your cooperative extension office or well staffed nursery for help with diagnosis. Be sure to put the leaves in a sealed plastic bag! Best wishes with your peach tree.

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