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Peach Leaf Curl


Last Friday I finally removed the peach tree I have been thinking of removing for more than a year because what I had been suspecting was peach leaf curl was, indeed, that – overnight and with the briefest of rains the leaves starting turning into an ugly mass of furry gray fungus. It was sad for me to remove the tree which I planted over two years ago, but the only way to deal with leaf curl is to use a fungicide, and as an organic gardener I’m not about to start messing around with that. So, out it came.

A tree in the community garden down the street had to be removed with the same disease, so I suspect that’s how my tree got it. However, in the initial stages Curl can look like several other problems peach trees are prone to, so (perhaps foolishly) I waited for a while to see if *maybe* it wasn’t the Curl. Alas.

If I had done my research prior to getting excited about having such a big yard and ordering the tree from the Arbor Day Foundation, I never would have planted a peach to begin with, as they are one of the more challenging fruit trees to grow. Once I find out when/if the soil will be okay to put another tree into, I will research what kind of fruit tree to replace the peach with. I’d love a plum (I had a huge love affair with plums last summer) but imagine that since it’s also being a stone fruit it may have similar growing issues as peaches – but maybe not. If it turns out that it does, though, I’ll probably put in a pear tree, which I know is a bit more resilient and which I also like.

For all our successes, we often forget about failure. Since gardening is all a great experiment, as long as we learn from our mishaps, we can sometimes outwit failure….

If you want to read more about Peach Leaf Curl, here is a fact sheet from Cornell: I will probably most often link to Cornell in this blog, by the way, because they’re close to me and a lot of the information is specific to New York State. There are Cooperative Extensions all over the country you can consult, however, for your own local conditions: New Mexico has a good one that I’ve seen, for example.

Here’s what my Curl looked like; I apologize for the quality of the photos, I had not charged my batteries and needed to get the tree out ASAP since it is an airborne fungus so I used my mobile to document the rapid deterioration.


From → peach, Trees

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