Check your peach trees! We’re getting a lot of reports and questions again this spring about peach leaf curl on trees around the city. This is a fungal disease that causes leaves on peaches and nectarines to pucker and curl, turning from reddish to yellow to gray and then falling off. It can sometimes also cause some disfigurement and drop of fruit, but this is less common.
PEACH LEAF CURL MANAGEMENT:
As with most tree diseases, it’s too late for preventive measures by the time you see it. At this point in the spring, Rodale’s Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control suggests removing all the infected leaves to reduce the future source of re-infection. These should be bagged up or added to a hot compost pile.
The only proven means of management is a copper or sulfur fungicide spray, applied in fall after leaf drop and/or in spring before bud break (we reminded you about this with our Sulfur Spray POP TIPS in late March!). If you have a tree that is severely effected, you may need to consider one of these organic sprays this fall and/or next spring.
For more info on peach leaf curl: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7426.html
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