Peach Curl - Knowledgebase Question

Lompoc, Ca
Question by clwebster
April 4, 2010
This year my peach tree began to develop peach curl after it flowered. All the leaves affected were on the bottom third of the branches. I picked them all off and threw them away. Is there any organic product to use to keep this from happening (so I do not affect the fruit or hurt the

Answer from NGA
April 4, 2010


You're helping to stop the disease from spreading by removing the affected leaves but they would have fallen off anyway. Once you notice that your tree has developed Peach Leaf Curl, it's too late to do much of anything. 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. I'd just leave the tree alone for now and then spray it in the fall months to help protect it next year. Best wishes with your peach crop!

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