Peach Leaf Curl

dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)April 3, 2006

I have decided to try again with a new semi-dwarf peach tree and am wondering if there is any way to protect against peach leaf curl in this climate? We gave up growing peaches years ago because of this problem but I saw this lovely little tree and before I knew it, it was in my car...A GW person on the fruit tree forum said that you could construct a temporary shelter in the springtime and that would help. I don't know why. I wonder if someone in the PNW could tell me more?

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rain1950(W. WA z8)

This a fungal disease common in wet environments. There are many dormant sprays to use or you can mix up copper sulfate and hydrated lime; Bordeaux Mixture

Here is a link that might be useful: The formula

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 7:17PM
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flora2(7)

On the other hand, I have a friend that never, ever sprays and last year her peach tree had more than 200 peaches (delicious too). I could not believe my eyes. I do have a peach tree but it is too young yet. I have high hopes now. Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 9:32PM
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gardengal48

It depends on the variety as to how badly they are affected by leaf curl. 'Frost', a freestone type developed by WSU at Mt. Vernon specifically for this climate, is about as resistant to leaf curl as you can get, however no peach or apricot is totally immune in this area.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 10:11PM
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eric_in_west_seattle(8 Seattle)

I have also heard that erecting a visqueen canopy over it is the answer. probably should stay on until fully leafed out.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 10:22PM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

Thanks for the encouraging words. I'm hoping that having a small tree won't be as daunting as a full sized one, especially at dormant spray time.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2006 at 11:45AM
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bramblebee

Hi Dotty,
I say forget the canopy and spraying and just plant leaf curl resistant varieties. There are many more choices than just the frost, including Nectarines.

Check out raintree nursery and one green world nursery online for varieties that are resistant. I've had great luck with Q-1-8, Avalon Pride and Mary Jane.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2006 at 1:10PM
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murkwell

bramblebee,

In what location have you had luck with those varieties?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 2:21AM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

Well my poor little tree that I planted last year struggled and didn't thrive despite my TLC. And this year it has curly leaf so I am going to take your advice and plant a resistant strain. Thanks for the advice.
Dorothy

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 12:06PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

Frost was not resistant enough for me, it declined and died after 3 years. Harken is also gone. Indian free seems to survive PLC but has some other problem where the lower twigs all die so growth gets farther and higher out all the time and now it is quite tall and inaccessible. My peach-almond trees don't get it though, so I get nuts the squirrels don't recognize.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 1:26PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

I went out and looked at Indian Free and there were only a scattered few leaves way up on the tips of some branches. I think I'm done buying more disease magnets. My new adventure in fruit trees is mulberries, the ones I planted last year have berries already forming with the first leaves and need no pollinator, have no diseases- Oscar and Illinois Everbearing. Apple and pear trees have done great for me with no spraying, too.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 7:33PM
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Ratherbgardening(PNW 7 or 8)

I've also just about lost my Frost tree.
Doesn't the cover have to go over the tree in fall to prevent leaf curl? That's what I seem to remember. I have a genetic dwarf that gets it every year and I keep meaning to try covering it, but never seem to get around to it at the time it's needed.
I planted a contorted mulberry last year and should get a few berries this year.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 12:09PM
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bramblebee

I wish I didn't love peaches so much. In the Puget Sound area if can be a challenge. I've planted several PLC resistant varieties. Mary Jane is a pathetic mess of twisted leaves dropping by the minute--last year it was fine. Go figure. My best so far are Oregeon Curl Free and Avalon Pride. Leaf borers took about 6 seconds to take out several apricot trees and are now working on my peach trees.

Q-1-8 (white peach), Indian Free and Charlotte faired well, but no fruit set. Leaves at least resemble something that cound photosynthesize; I'm encouraged. :-) There's another tree called John Muir, but way to early to tell how it will grow in this maritime climate, though purported to PCL resistant.

One more tip, I found the peach trees shaded and thus about two weeks late to bloom, had a better fruit set. Maybe sunnier, maybe more pollinators, maybe drier, maybe fewer competing blossoms for my bees. Good Luck, I'll keep you posted.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 11:30AM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

I'm following this thread with great interest and appreciate all of the practical info. My poor little tree has had a good fruit set and it looks like there will be a couple of dozen peaches ripening if the bugs and disease don't get them first. It would be super to have fresh, ripe peaches from our own garden.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 11:16PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Dotty, we had a Red Haven Peach for 20+ years, I sprayed with the bordeaux mixture. Once in the fall before leaf fall. Once before the buds started to swell in the spring, the most important spray IMO, it's the rain that washes those lousy spores into the buds that cause the peach leaf curl. The last spray was just done as a followup after the flowers had dropped. The only curl I had was where I missed with the sprayer. The few curly leaves I had soon dropped off and were replaced with healthy leaves. If you miss that important spray before the buds swell you are more than likely going to have peach leaf curl. Hope this is of some help.

A......

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 6:03PM
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tallclover(Zone 8 Maritime Pacific NW)

I just received three peach curl resistant varieties from One Green World nursery: Avalon Pride, Oregon Curl Free and Autumn Rose. The last one is new to me, but the other two have done well for me in the past in Seattle. I've included a link to my peach tree planting pics, so you can get an idea of what they look like.

Here is a link that might be useful: Planting 3 Leaf Curl Resistant Varieties

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 6:29PM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

It looks like I didn't finish my peach report: I picked all of the curly leaves off the tree, let the fruit ripen and I ended up with 27 wonderful, flavourful, ripe peaches last year! They weren't very big (it was a dwarf afterall), but the seeds were small so there was lots of flesh in each peach. They were delicious. I tried putting a plastic tent over it this spring but it blew off in a windstorm and I haven't figured out a way to put it inplace to stay yet. Aftermidnight, what is the Bordeaux spray you refer to: wine?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 12:04PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Haven't had a peach tree for a good many of years but if I remember correctly the Bordeaux mixture consisted of copper sulphate and hydrated lime. I think it came be in the Bordeaux region in France to be used in the vineyards. I think Fixed Copper would do the same job that is if we can still get it I haven't looked lately.

A......

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 12:30PM
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novita(SWB.C. z8)

I just noticed the dread peach leaf curl all over the tree. This is the first time for this little "Early Haven" which is planted in a raised bed. We had covered the top with plexiglass on an arbor but abandoned that as the branches got too big. I had also sprayed with lime/sulphur every year but was neglectful this year and didn't spray anything. (bad!)
I just wondered how your peach tree did this year, Dottie? I will pick off leaves and maybe give a good pruning and put the roof back on - hopefully it will recover. I think peach trees are a bit tricky.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 3:18PM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

It is a disaster! Curly leaf and the blossoms got frozen so no peaches this year. I have to confess that I didn't spray it at all and it has been so cold, wet and windy that the cover didn't stay in place so I'm getting my just desserts. However, this has finally been a lovely weekend weatherwise and the rest of the garden is finally being attended to.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 5:51PM
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novita(SWB.C. z8)

Oh, that's too bad! Sorry to hear it, I was hoping for a comeback. I am going to do all the right things next year, and if that doesn't work, I will just give up having a peach tree.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 10:11PM
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tallclover(Zone 8 Maritime Pacific NW)

Ironically, now that I've planted many leaf curl resistant peach varieties, I'm having to deal with peach borers. Wow are they creepy and effective little pests, boring into the young wood and killing whole branches and in one case a young apricot tree. Time to learn about these guys and their control. TC at Tall Clover Farm

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 10:58AM
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tallclover(Zone 8 Maritime Pacific NW)

Peach Leaf Curl Report:
PLC resistant varieties, planted Maritime NW, Zone 8
As of May 30, 2008 for young trees planted 2-4 years ago

  • John Muir: weak growth, leaves slow to appear, minor curl, no fruit set

  • Oregon Curl Free: steady growth, leaves good, very minor curl, nice fruit set

  • Avalon Pride: steady growth, leaves good, minor leaf curl, no fruit set this year

  • Indian Free: vigorous growth, most leafed out, minor leaf curl, nice fruit set

  • Q-1-8 white peach:vigorous growth, slow to leaf out, minor leaf curl, light fruit set

  • Charlotte: slow steady growth, slow to leaf out, minor leaf curl, very light fruit set

  • Kreibich Nectarine: healthy growth, fully leafed out, very minor leaf curl, very young tree so light fruit set

With varied site placement taken into consideration, I'd have to say I'm encouraged by all of these trees, though John Muir is struggling with its less than desirable placement near a towering tree. I may have to move it during dormancy next winter. Oregon Curl Free is the fruit set winner this season. I'll try to post some pics later on my blog at TallCloverFarm.com
ummm, peaches...one day

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 10:37AM
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tallclover(Zone 8 Maritime Pacific NW)

I finally got around to posting some photos and an overview of how my various peach leaf curl resistant varieties are doing. The trees were planted between 2-4 years ago as bareroots.

I will update this page linked below each season or as timely info lends itself:

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Peach Trees Organically: Overview of Peach Leaf Curl Resistant Varieties I Grow

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 12:13PM
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