Thompson & Morgan

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Peach Leaf Curl - Diseases


Commonly asked question(s):

- How can I stop peach leaf curl on my nectarine? I sprayed them last autumn and again this february.
- What causes blisters on peach tree leaves?


How can I stop peach leaf curl on my nectarine? I sprayed them last autumn and again this february.

Once the symptoms of peach leaf curl are spotted in spring it becomes very difficult to treat the problem. This is why most treatments for peach leaf curl are preventative rather than curative. The fungal spores of peach leaf curl require moisture to germinate, so this infection occurs particularly during wet spring weather.

You did exactly the right thing by spraying in autumn and again in February. You will need to do the same this year but you might need to follow up your late winter spray with a second application about 2 weeks later. If your nectarine is wall trained then you can erect and open ended screen to cover the tree from late winter to May to keep the rain off, thereby preventing the spores from germinating. I know this sounds a bit extreme but this technique has been proven to be very successful. For this year, all you can do is pick off infected leaves the moment that you see them. Destroy them by burning them or removing them from your garden entirely - do not add them to the compost heap.


What causes blisters on peach tree leaves?

Blistered leaves and branch die-back are classic indicators of the fungal infection Peach Leaf Curl. Once the symptoms of peach leaf curl are spotted in spring it becomes very difficult to treat the problem, so most treatments for peach leaf curl are preventative rather than curative. The fungal spores of peach leaf curl require moisture to germinate, so this infection occurs particularly during wet spring weather.

You will need to spray your peach this autumn and again in February with a copper based fungicide such as Bordeaux Mixture. We would suggest that you follow up your February spray with a second application about 2 weeks later. If your peach is wall trained then you can erect an open ended screen to cover the tree from late winter to May to keep the rain off, thereby preventing the spores from germinating. I know this sounds a bit extreme but this technique has been proven to be very successful.

It’s hard to say what has caused the holes in your peaches - codling moths do affect other fruits but are predominantly a pest of Apples so this is an unlikely culprit. There are lots of potential pests that will cause holes in fruits including wasps and birds. Pest damage is very common in fruits but you should be able to still use the peaches if you cut out the damaged portions.