A popular fruit tree for any landscape, dwarf peach trees are compact trees and generally stay under 7 feet in height, making them a good choice for smaller garden areas. Dwarf peach trees are generally easy to care for--requiring minimal maintenance through pruning and fertilizing--and they are less disease-prone than their larger counterparts. Additionally, because of their compact size, more dwarf peach trees can be planted in less garden space.
Peach Leaf Curl
Check your leaves for signs of leaf curl--a common dwarf peach tree disease. This disease causes the leaves to curl and change color from green to red. Peach leaf curl is a fungus that, if not treated, will grow in its infestation from year to year and often spread to surrounding trees. Use a fungicide that fights peach curl--these typically include a copper or Bordeaux mixture or liquid lime sulfur. When using any type of fungicide, follow the label directions carefully for preparation and distribution.
Spray the entire tree, including the bark and the emerging buds; this will reach the areas where the fungus resides. Another tip to avoid or control the peach leaf curl is to use a dormant spray in the fall after the leaves have dropped from the tree, and follow up in the spring with a fungicide.
Peach Tree Borers
Determine if the dwarf peach tree has an infestation of the pest called the peach tree borer. This insect invades the trunk area of the peach tree and lays its larvae in the bark, eventually killing a dwarf peach tree. Proof of peach tree borers is a gummy substance draining from various areas of the trunk and branches of the tree. Often the insects themselves are not visible.
Using an insecticide that contains endosulfan is effective in destroying the peach tree borers and the larvae they leave behind. The name brands Thiogard or Thiodan are both effective spray treatments to treat the infestation; follow the directions on the label for timing and usage directions.
Encountering brown spots on the dwarf peach tree fruit is a common issue with the tree's soft fruit. Usually the spots are brown rot, a fungal disease that will destroy any fruit that is infected. In the case of brown rot, a fungicide is required for treatment.
Check the label of a fungicide to ensure it is safe to use on peaches. A fungicide is a pesticide and safety precautions are essential, such as safety goggles and gloves during the application process.
Determine if the damage to the peaches on the dwarf peach tree is caused by peach scab, which can be controlled and combated differently than other diseases. The only indication of peach scab are brown spots on the fruit, not the leaves, branches, leaves or trunk.
If peach scab is present, prune the peach tree to increase airflow throughout the branches of the tree. Peach scab affects the fruit by making the skin of the fruit harder to remove from the flesh, and causing brown spots on the infected fruit--but the fruit will typically still be edible and able to be harvested.