How can I control peach leaf curl?
Posted by Dobies Staff on 23 January 2015 02:15 pm

Peach leaf curl is a common disease attacking peach trees, nectarines, flowering almonds and rarely apricots.Trees are often attacked when the leaf buds are just starting to burst, especially in cold, wet springs. 

The disease shows up as a severe puckering of the foliage, usually accompanied by a red or purple coloration on which a layer of whitish spores develop. Badly affected leaves become thickened, distorted and are shed prematurely. A second flush of leaves produced later in the season usually remains unaffected. The fungus responsible overwinters in dormant buds. Peach leaf curl can affect the fruit of nectarines but not peaches, the fruit develops slightly raised, rough patches.

Control is difficult if the disease is allowed to gain hold. Little can be done apart from removing and burning infected leaves before the spores develop if these are not to numerous. Fallen leaves should also be gathered up and destroyed. Trees trained against a wall can be given protection by covering them with an open ended polythene curtain from mid winter to early spring. Spraying with Bayer's Fruit and Vegetable Disease control will control this disease. 

The Peach Avalon Pride has good resistance as it matures but may show symptoms in the early years.

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