What to do about peach leaf curl now?

kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)April 14, 2007

My 2-year-old peach tree has a pretty severe case of leaf curl. It has already blossomed, but I don't see any fruit budding yet. Would it help if I went ahead and sprayed with dormant oil now, or should I just wait to see what happens and spray in the fall?

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Curl is a disease that must be prevented before it occurs, since there is no spray that can cure an existing infection.

Prevention consists of a heavy-duty fungicide, such as copper or lime/sulphur. Dormant oil is an ovicide, and would have little to no effect on development of a fungal disease, although I am sure you could find people who would tell you prevention can be established with neem oil. My experience with neem oil is that it does not cure anything, fungal or insecticidal. And application of ordinary dormant oil, unless applied at a very low rate, would very likely injure the leaves on top of the curl infection.

My personal view is that a strong copper compound, such as Kocide, applied in at least two dormant sprays with the last just before bud break, is the most effective preventative for peach leaf curl. But if copper is used after leaves begin growing in, leaf injury is almost certain.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 6:43PM
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I start spraying Microcop every 4 weeks until just before I see the blossoms starting to swell.

Starting on November 1 through +/-March 1.

I realize that the frequency is high but two years ago I had a PLC EXPLOSION. You might be able to get away with every 6 weeks. Maybe?

I am happy to say that I do not have PCL this year.

btw...FROST(peach) marketed as highly resistant to PLC is correct.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 7:07PM
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joereal(Ca z9/SS z14)

When you have peach leaf curl at this time in the season, it is too late. No remedy exists to cure it at this stage. Wait for the fall season and follow the subsequent remedy to prepare for next year.

While no cure exists at this point in time, there is ONE BIG THING THAT YOU CAN DO for your infected tree. Apply heavy amounts of fertilizer especially on the nitrogen and magnesium side. This should help your tree put out very aggressive growth. Don't worry about the infected leaves that come, they will fall off anyway. Taking them out is an absolute waste of labor, wasted away for nothing. Rather, apply plenty of fertilizer to help your tree encourage vegetative leaf growth recovery, otherwise, it will be in terrible shape for next year. The infected leaves will fall off, make sure to gather and dispose of those fallen leaves away from your yard, either burn them, haul them away to the landfill or have them composted properly (proper composting process kills off 99.9% of plant pathogens).

With vigorous growth due to fertilizer and irrigation, your tree can come back with a vengeance next season. This coming fall, start your regimen to combat the peach leaf curl. Apply during 50% to 90% leaf fall, apply the full strength dormant application in the middle of winter, and then just before or during pink stage of bud break next year. Three times application of fungicide is the best remedy to have bountiful crops next year, but this year, the best thing to do at this stage is apply loads of fertilizer with adequate irrigation to boot.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 1:02AM
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Last year I had severe peach curl leave on my nectarine tree. eventually the leaves infected will die and fall off.New leaves will sprout.The fruit will be limited or small in size.There is nothing you can do for this coming harvest or season. Prepare for next year. Get one product that fights peach curl leave fungus.They sell them in OSH,Homedepot,Lowes or a garden center or agricultural outlet. Spraying should be done after summer in the fall after all leaves fell.You could do in December one time and again February or before bud swelling. You can use also bordeaux mix which you can mix yourself:copper sulfate(powder form), Hydrated lime (powder form) and water.Use the following ratio:10LBScopper sulfate,10lbshydrated lime and 100gallons water.Just adjust for small amounts by cutting the fractions equally.I did my mixture and it worked.My nectarine is totally free from peach curl leave.I got the copper sulfate and hydrated lime in ebay out of state.I used a craftmsman sears backpack sprayer.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 3:14AM
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joereal(Ca z9/SS z14)

I've been hunting down copper sulfate powder from various local stores and nursery, none of them are selling. The prices at eBay are about 10 to 20 times more expensive than what they should be as we don't need high purity. Shipping and handling jacks up the prices too. If someone can point us into where we can obtain these hydrates of copper sulfate for cheap, it would really be cool!

Hydrated lime, you can get them easily.

There is a nice direction in which you can prepare separate stock solutions for the bordeaux mixture, and the moment you need, simply mix the solutions together and apply fresh. After mixing together, the potency will degrade quickly, that is why you have to prepare separate stock solutions, at least with stock solutions, there is no need to do the laborious time consuming process of preparing from their powder forms.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 10:57AM
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I've found 1:10 bleach solutions works very well even after infestation. It seems to stop spreading and even affected leafs are getting better (affected areas of the leaf kind of dries out).

I have PLC problem all the time but this year is so wet my peach is a disaster even though I used dormant spray twice. I've exprimented with all the chemicals in the household and found that baking soda solution does work but bleach is the best. I'll definetly try it early next year as soon as I see PLC developement.

If anyone's interested please try it too and post your results. Based on whatever I read 1:10 bleach can not hurt plants (I actually tried 1:3 on few leaves and see no damage at all)

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 5:31PM
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OYAZ explained that a 10:1 bleach solution works against peach leaf curl. I tried it out of desperation and it does, indeed, work. The curled leaves have fallen off and the newer leaves are unscathed. I applied the bleach using an Ortho hose sprayer that dilutes the bleach for you. I will also say that I fertilized with Epsom Salts first creating a solution and pouring it around the trees. Household bleach IS an effective agent against Peach Leaf Curl right now. Don't feel defeated. I will use a copper agent later.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 11:29PM
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Ooops. Make that a 1:10 bleach solution for peach leaf curl.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 11:34PM
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I just tried the bleach solution on my peach tree. I'll keep everyone updated if mine works too!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 8:49AM
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The damaged leafs will fall off even if you do nothing. Your tree will have to grow new foliage, which will use energy that would better be used for fruit. I would be sure your tree is fed and watered now and the new foliage will probable be clean. I doubt you can use copper without damage to the new foliage. Al

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 10:17AM
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