Peach Leaf Curl - Knowledgebase Question

Yuba City, CA
Question by dp2987
March 5, 2001
I have a peach and a nectarine, both dwarf, that developed leaf curl. Last year the peach has not given any fruit both trees are 6 years old, would leaf curl prevent the fruit from growing?


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Answer from NGA
March 5, 2001

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Peach Leaf Curl can affect leaves, flowers, tender shoots and even fruit. Diseased leaves eventually fall off, but unaffected leaves will grow on normally. Once you see the problem it is too late to correct it for that 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. Copper will cause the peach to defoliate so that is why we 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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