Peach leaf curl is one of the worst diseases afflicting peach and nectarine trees and one of the most common for us backyard gardeners! Caused by the fungus Taphrina deformans, symptoms include abnormally thick, puckered and curled leaves with reddish foliage. Infected trees are affected at their blossoms, fruit, leaves and shoots thus weakening the overall tree and diminishing its fruit production.
Leaf curl can only be controlled when sprays are applied during the dormant season. Spray the first application after 90 percent of leaves have fallen (around Thanksgiving). then spray once a month with Liqui-Cop in late November, December and January.
In February, spray once a week with Copper Fungicide.
Note that if it rains within 4-5 days of application, reapply after rain. Adding 1 percent Master Nursery Pest Fighter Year-Round Spray Oil (2.5 tablespoons per gallon) will improve control.
Now is also the time to spray for shothole fungus on almond, apricot, cherry and plum trees. Use Liqui-Cop after leaf fall. To help control scab on apples, fire blight on pears and anthracnose on dogwoods, use dormant spray late winter/early spring in cool weather, just after dormancy ends.
Finally, sanitation is key to preventing next year's pests and diseases, so be sure to pick up and dispose of fallen leaves, twigs and fruit!
Got questions? Stop into the nursery and speak with one of our nursery members today!