How Do I Treat My Peach Trees With Leaf Curl?

Overview

Peach trees benefit your garden with a delicious fruit harvest, shade and aesthetic beauty. Unfortunately, peach trees are susceptible to a fungal disease called leaf curl that may cause red warty-looking leaves. Preventing the disease is the best way to treat peach trees, but if your tree does come under attack of this fungus, there are a couple of ways you can help save your tree.

Prevention

Step 1

Obtain a fungicide that has a fixed copper product at your local gardening or hardware store.

Step 2

Follow the manufacturer's directions on the fungicide you purchased to prepare the mixture. Usually, about 3 to 4 tbsp. of fungicide is used per gallon of water. Mix in a large bucket. Different brands of registered fungicide for peach leaf curl require different measurements, application times and procedures. Some are applied in the fall when tree is dormant, while others are applied in spring when the tree is budding.

Step 3

Wear gloves, goggles and a long-sleeved shirt when applying a fungicide for protection. Start around the bottom of the tree and thoroughly cover all the bark, foliage, branches and twigs that you see, from the ground up. It is necessary to cover the entire tree for disease control. When you move higher up the peach tree, use a ladder to reach high places.

Step 4

Let the fungicide dry completely. If there is heavy rain within a week of the application, repeat the procedure.

Treatment

Step 1

Identify that your peach tree has the leaf curl fungus. When you see this, there is nothing you can do except wait until all of the infected leaves drop, or you can prune them off.

Step 2

Sanitize your pruning shears or saw in a mixture of 30 percent water and 70 percent rubbing alcohol before beginning pruning.

Step 3

Prune off the diseased portions of the peach tree if it is heavily infected. Using a downward angle, cut off the branches that are infected at the base of the branch where it connects to the trunk. If half or more of the branch is infected, prune the entire branch.

Step 4

Prevent peach leaf curl in the future by applying fungicide in late winter after production or in spring before blooming.

Things You'll Need

  • Fungicide
  • Ladder
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Heavy-duty gardening gloves
  • Goggles
  • Bucket
  • Measuring spoon
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Water
  • Pruning shears or saw

References

  • University of California: Peach Leaf Curl Management
  • University of Massachusetts: Peach Leaf Curl Facts
  • Cornell University: Plant Clinic
Keywords: peach tree care, peach tree disease, peach leaf curl

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.