Fig leaves curling, have brown stains on the back *Pics*

LeopardMoth(8b)April 9, 2011

My uncle's Celeste fig is probably around 50 years old -- though really, the current tree is an established sprout of the original tree. It's nice-sized and produces well.

Yesterday, my uncle noticed that some of the leaves are starting to curl up, and some of those have a reddish-brown stain on the back -- like the edge of a paper towel that has been touched to water, and allowed to soak some up.

It doesn't look like or fit the description of rust, and it's hard to find pictures of fig leaf curl... the same organism apparently causes peach leaf curl, and the leaves of peach trees with it end up badly deformed. That isn't the case here, but I don't know if it acts the same on fig trees.

Here are some pictures of a typical affected leaf:

Does anyone know what this is? Thank you for any information you may have! :)

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I am not really an expert on leaves disease. But I alsways apply Fungicide to all my trees. We had a lot of rain last week and I found fungus on my grape tree. I applied Fungicide to every body just in case.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 3:03AM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Hi FP,

What kind of fungicide did you use for your fig trees?

I had a few leaves on some of my fig trees that look like the photos. I've never seen it before. It looks like rust, but the rust my trees have always had hits the tops of the leaves. If it's rust, it's been brought in by new trees I got elsewhere. :(




    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 3:33AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

It looks like sunscald to me, if its cool then you get a really hot day the leaves can get unhappy. I'm not completely sure of that diagnosis, and you may want to mark some of the spots and see if they grow. Sunscald spots should not grow since the damage has been done. Curling is also a common symptom of too much sun.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 3:07PM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Why would the brown be on the underside if it's sunscald, though?

My trees that that brown coloring showed up on are in different amounts of sun and only a few leaves of the tree out back had that coloring on the undersides of the leaves and a couple out front, which don't get as much sun as the tree in the backyard. It's a puzzle and I hope we haven't discovered a new disease/affliction.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 9:56PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Noss, I don't know why it would be on the bottom but maybe the new leaf is more tender there. The reason why I don't think it is a disease is how the veins are not damaged, diseases tend to grow over a whole surface and not just "hop over" the veins. The veins are thicker spots on the leaves with more water flow so less likely to be sunscalded. It could be some other environment stress as well, but not sure how; I doubt it is any disease.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 8:28AM
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Noss I use Copper Fungicide. Made by Bonide. It is organic. In extreme cases I use Captan. Captan is toxic but really kills any fungus comes in its way. If you spray Captan make sure to wear goggles and gloves. Some people recommend wearing masks I just try not to breathe close to the spray.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 2:42PM
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We were at a nursery, and my uncle ran into an excessively knowledgeable supervisor (I mean seriously knowledgeable!). After talking to him about lots of things, my uncle suddenly thought of the fig tree. He described the problem to him, and the supervisor asked whether the stains were near the stem (indicating the sides of the heel of his hand) or nearer the far tips of the leaves (indicating his fingertips). My uncle replied that they were near the stem.

The supervisor, without hesitation, replied that the tree had gotten too much water. He assured us that this was no fungus or disease, merely too much water.

Sure enough, we had recently had a lot of rain, and my uncle had watered the tree a couple of times. Now that it hasn't rained much in a bit, the tree started looking better -- until we had another deluge a few days ago, and a bunch more leaves curled up.

Hopefully, with some dry days, it'll recover. Thank you to everyone who looked and tried to figure this out! :)

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 1:47PM
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I have the same thing on some of my trees the last couple years. It's not rust and not from too much water(here at least) as we're in a moderate drought. I was concerned at first, but nothing ever came of it. It's nothing to be concerned with. Hope this helps! Tim

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 8:55PM
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