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Peach leaf curl

Symptoms

Distorted and puckered peach tree leaves, which may have a bronzed or reddish colour. Flowers and fruit may fall prematurely and death of the tree may eventually result.
Find it on: peach, nectarine, apricot and almond trees
Time to act: all year round

Overview

Airborne fungal spores land on buds to infest newly-emerging leaves in spring. The fungus feeds on the young leaves and affects their development so that they become distorted. The smaller leaf size makes them less efficient at making food for the plant and in its weakened state, the flowers and fruit fall off. Trees may recover sufficiently to make a second flush of growth and these leaves are usually unaffected by the fungus. Fungus survives on fallen leaves and branches to re-infect next season's buds.
Solution
Distorted and puckered peach tree leaves, which may have a bronzed or reddish colour. Flowers and fruit may fall prematurely and death of the tree may eventually result.
Organic
Remove any infected leaves as soon as they are seen, together with flowers and fruit. Clear up infected, fallen leaves around trees. Cover fence or wall-trained trees with polythene sheet in January and February to prevent development of fungus. Alternatively, erect an open-sided 'tent' over bushes in the open garden. Mulch around the base of trees with garden compost to maintain general health, and water well in dry summer weather. Avoid over-feeding with nitrogen fertiliser.
Chemical
Spray the whole tree or bush with Bordeaux mixture during late January and repeat two weeks later to kill the fungus before the leaves emerge from the buds.



Discuss this problem

Talkback: Peach leaf curl
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applesue 24/11/2011 at 15:29

Whats wrong with my apple tree? last year was the first year we had any fruit, its 3yrs old, this year hardly any fruit, what fruit we have is misshapen, the leaves are dry and curling but i havent let the tree dryout I water it mornings, before the sun gets on it, and again in the evening. What am i doing wrong is it because its in a large pot? Please help..
appllesue

Poppy'sMum 31/03/2012 at 12:31

I have a miniture peach and apricot tree which both have peach leaf curl. Last year was the first year of planting and the fruit went mouldy, shrivelled up and fell off the branches. I have since repotted both trees into large pots and placed in a nice sunny position. I bought a fungicide last week but after reading the instructions I should have used it before the buds and blossom started to appear. Some of the new growth is already showing signs of going reddish brown. Should I cut any of this growth back? Please could someone suggest a remedy?
Many thanks,
Poppy'sMum

PS. What is Bordeaux mixture?

Dragon 87 31/03/2012 at 20:33

Hi Poppy's mum.

Expert i am not !     But i understand that Peach leaf curl is caused by a virus ? spread very early in the year by cold wet rain !?   I've planted & lost grafted standard plants (good that you had fruit !)

I left them & are now growing back from the original rootstock (quite different !)...I'm waiting to see ,, but some flowers have opened....Maybe wait & see ?

Here en francais it's used as a general fertiliser e.g .   vines, & is approved as Organic   .. GUESS WHAT ?     IS GOOD FOR PEACH LEAF CURL TOO

Regards David

Dragon 87 31/03/2012 at 20:37

PS  i forgot to mention that Bordeux mixture also helps with APPLE SCAB !

Jamie Lloyd 26/04/2012 at 23:31

I'm battling peach leaf curl on a well established dwarf peach tree (10 + years old) that has increased because of a particularly wet spring here in San Diego California and I need help!

Because the tree hadn't been sufficiently pruned in a few years (it is in my mom's yard and as she declined which lead to her passing last year, was unable to consistently prune). So I heavily pruned in January of this year and got a spray recommended by Home Depot to stop potential leaf curl and covered the tree.

Flowers and leaves budded and opened beautifully but now the tree is heavily covered with big ugly leaf curl. There are a lot of tiny peaches too.

From what I've read it says to spray to treat the curl before leaves and flowers bud. So is there *anything* I can do now to save this year's crop and help the health of the tree? I'll be just sick if the tree dies.

The tree had some leaf curl in the past but never as bad as it does now.

Any recommendations would be GREATLY appreciated! :)

Jamie in San Diego

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