Peach Leaf Curl
I purchased a peach tree last year and now as it has just stopped raining. I decided to go and do some gardening. I saw that my tree had what I now know to be peach tree curl after reading up on it on your Q&A page. My query now is that it's May now and I'm not sure what to do as the instructions for treating the disease are to use a fungicide in the autumn and possibly again in the spring. What am I to do now? Can I apply a fungicide now? Or will this year's peaches and indeed the leaves be too late to save? Your assisitance is duly appreciated
Regards Shirley Read
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Peach leaf curl is caused by a fungal infection. Prevention is the best form of attack against the disease, however. Once your tree has developed leaf curl, it is difficult to save your peach harvest.
Infected leaves usually drop but will stress the tree once new growth begins. The only treatment is to minimize stress by supplying additional fertilizer and irrigation as well as removing some of the fruit load. Prune off diseased portions of the tree and try to thin out the number of peaches you have on the tree. Also clean up any debris that may have fallen.
In late fall, you can treat with a fixed copper fungicide to try and prevent the re-occurrence of the disease. Unfortunately, fungicide will not kill this disease.
Chlorothalonil will kill peach leaf curl. It is the active ingredient in Daconil. However if you are trying to grow organically it is not a solution.