Bugs destroying peach tree

shauninsfApril 18, 2009

We have a small peach tree in our yard. Last year was fine and produced lots of great fruit. This year its COVERED in some weird, small (about the size of a pea) orange with black spot insects. I say insects, they are almost like snails, they don't seem to be moving at all but are on the actual branches in groups of maybe 10 or 20, all over the tree. At first they looked like some kind of ladybug. Maybe they aren't even insects but some kind of fungal growth? We admit to knowing very little about trees and gardening :)

The leaves are starting to blister and turn red too. We saw the same thing on a neighbors tree so I guess its common around here (San Francisco bay area).

Can anyone tell us what these are and how to get rid of them?

Heres some pics:





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Your Photobucket links don't work.

But it sounds to me as if you have the beginnings of a bad case of peach leaf curl.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 8:54PM
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CA Kate

Joe: the bugs look like brown scale on steroids. Try C&Ping the links directly into the address box.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 9:49PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

When one C&Ps them directly into the address box, one gets this message
"The action that you were trying to perform has failed."

So, the glitch is how you have them linked.

Please try again w/the images.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 12:41AM
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BUMP! Any ideas what this is and how to cure?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 3:27PM
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jim123(z9 or z10 CA)

The leaf damage is Peach Leaf Curl and it is caused by a fungus. It is too late to do anything about it this year. It will somewhat impede growth this year, as energy has been spent on producing leaves that it will not keep long enough to restore what they used. The affected leaves will eventually fall off (or you can pull them off) and others will grow. The tree will live, just not a vigorously as it would have.

The cure is to spray for peach leaf curl before the tree has leafed out. You need to spray while they are dormant. It needs to be sprayed two or three times during the winter, the very latest just before bud break. If it rains within a day or two, it doesn't count. I use light oil that contains fixed copper. Malathion can be added if you desire.

As for the bugs, I can't see them clearly enough. I think they look like bean beetles. Been beetles resemble lady bugs, but with black dots. Lady bugs are friendly. Bean beetles are not. They eat leaves. You probably need to spray for them, but you need to choose something that can be used on a leafed out plant.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 5:47PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

More about the peach leaf curl

To minimize the disease in subsequent years, discard all affected leaves, including those that drop on their own. If left to their own devices, the fungus continues its life cycle on the fallen leaves and is right there, under the tree, easily able to reinfect the tree.

That said, yes you should also apply a dormant spray as previously described.

As for the bumps, they do look like beetles. If so, you should be able to pry them off easily. Could well be lady beetles. The Asian lady beetles overwinter in the same regions that they live during the growing season.

Don't know what bean beetles would be doing on a peach tree, especially in those numbers.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 6:16PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Neglected to add that those bumps might be scale. In that case, when you pry it off, the underside won't show any legs.

If so, start squishing, now, before the very tiny young hatch and start to move around. Then remain alert after that.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 6:18PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Here's the pictures. You should be able to mouse over your pictures at photobucket and copy the "html code" and paste them into your messages. Sorry about your peach tree. :(

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 6:37PM
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I just noticed that my white peach tree in Almaden, San Jose has the exact same things on the branches. It must be the time of year. Did anyone identify exactly what these ladybug-looking... scales... are? and whether they need to be dealt with or just left alone and it goes away? I also have peach leaf curl this year and did not spray earlier... probably too late to do anything for it this year.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 2:50PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Changed my mind about the possible lady beetles.

Most likely lecanium scale. If so, should be sort of stuck to the branch but you can lift them off with a fingernail.

If I'm correct, obliterate all you can find.

If the tree is too large to get to overall, find out when the crawlers will be hatch in your climate & use an appropriate spray at that time.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 8:24PM
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Oh, man! I have these things too and I've been trying to figure out what they are. I posted a pic on Garden Web but no one responded. Is there any chance that they are lady bug larvae or eggs? I noticed mine are all placed next door to some scales so if they are lady bugs, they could have been placed there to have a ready food supply right?

I don't want to destroy them if they're lady bugs. I noticed they come off easily and have a little gummy stuff on the bottom that I presume keeps them attached.

Does anyone know for sure??

Here's my pic: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3658/4563995326_26128a8360_b.jpg

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 6:11PM
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Destroy them or they will destroy your plant/tree. I found them on an iochroma and you could see the plant was starting to weaken. Don't know what they are but will google lecanium scale, but I do know they are not lady bugs or their lavae. I got a paper towel and just ran it up and down the stem squishing all I could. Then I took some alcohol and went over what remained plus did trim the iochroma. So far so good.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 9:02AM
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