How to Get Rid of Peach Tree Curl

Overview

Peach tree curl, also known as peach leaf curl, is caused by the fungus Taphrina deformans. The disease causes foliage to produce reddish areas that thicken and pucker, causing a characteristic curling effect. Peach tree curl also affects new shoots, blossoms and fruit. In severe infections, peach tree curl can significantly reduce fruit yields. Pruning infected branches away is largely ineffective. The best treatment is a preventive fungicide that can be applied in the autumn, once the leaves have fallen. A Bordeaux mixture, made of copper sulfate and hydrated lime, is an excellent choice for this treatment.

Step 1

Dissolve 1 lb. of copper sulfate in one gallon of water. Use a wooden paddle or other similar device to work the copper sulfate through the screen or sieve. Ensure that it is dissolved thoroughly.

Step 2

Combine 1 lb. of hydrated lime with one gallon of water to make a suspension, in a separate plastic bucket. Set these two mixtures aside and allow them to sit for at least two hours before use.

Step 3

Combine the two mixtures in a garden sprayer when ready to spray the trees. Stir the mixture thoroughly.

Step 4

Seal and pressurize the sprayer. Spray the branches and trunk of the tree thoroughly, ensuring that all surfaces are evenly covered. Spray the soil surface around the tree out to the drip line.

Tips and Warnings

  • Hydrated lime is very caustic and should be handled with care. All fungicides are toxic and should be handled and stored properly.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden sprayer
  • 1 lb. hydrated lime
  • 1 lb. copper sulfate
  • 2 large plastic buckets
  • 2 gallons water
  • Wooden paddle
  • Sieve or screen

References

  • University of California Integrated Pest Management Program: Pests in Gardens and Landscapes, Peach Leaf Curl
  • University of California Integrated Pest Management Program: Bordeaux Mixture
Keywords: peach tree curl, peach leaf curl, peach leaf fungus

About this Author

In Jacksonville, Fla., Frank Whittemore is a content strategist with almost a decade of experience as a Navy Hospital Corpsman and licensed paramedic and more than 15 years writing for several Fortune 500 companies. Whittemore writes on topics that include medicine, nature, science, technology, the arts, cuisine, travel and sports.