Tap to Read ➤

Peach Tree Diseases

Rajib Singha Jan 23, 2019
Knowing about the major signs of the diseases that affect peach trees helps in initiating early measures which can prevent the tree from deteriorating further.
In most cases, diseases that affect peach tree are caused by fungus. The fungus makes its way into the tree with the help of infection caused by insects. The diseases are more common in humid areas than in arid ones. They may be prevented with the help of careful selection of cultivars, practices that encourage good gardening, and maintaining a schedule.

Leaf Curl

Perhaps one of the most severe diseases that affect peach trees, is what is known as the peach leaf curl. This disease is caused by a fungus known asTaphrina deformans. Symptoms are rusty spots on leaves which blister and curl in a deformed way. 
However, this fungi can only infect leaves which are young and still growing. Leaves which have expanded to their full size are not susceptible to this disease. Cold and wet conditions in spring serve as an ideal environment for this fungi to infect peach trees and thrive.
The problem of peach leaf curl can be addressed with the use of Bordeaux Mixture. Late January is considered to be the best time to apply this mix to the entire tree. The treatment has to be repeated in mid February. This helps in getting rid of the fungus before the leaves begin expanding. Not to mention, follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Brown Rot

Brown rot happens to be another common problem. As the name suggests, this disease is responsible for rotting an important part of the peach trees - the fruits. When this condition hits a peach, it begins as a brown spot on the fruit. 
Gradually, the spot begins to engulf the entire fruit making it completely brown. The fungus Monilinia fructicola, is the fungus which is held responsible for causing this disease. Affected fruits may fall off from the tree and, if still they manage to remain on the tree, they look withered and dry out.
To control brown rot, get rid of affected fruits, twigs or flowers. It must be known that these stuffs do not make for a good compost as they might still be contaminated with fungus spores. 
So, using them as a compost for peach tree care would only help the disease to take over the entire garden. Most gardeners make use of organic fungal spray to prevent the spread of this disease.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease of the peach tree. Sphaerotheca pannosa is a fungus that is responsible for it. One important sign to take a note of is the presence of a white fuzz growing on the tree. This disease is known for ruining an entire harvest for the year, however, it is not a major issue for most gardeners.
Coming to taking care of powdery mildew, keep the orchard clean. For this, all you have to do is rake up fallen leaves and fruit, as the fungus spends the winter in the debris. Otherwise, go for cultivars which are resistant towards this disease.

Peach Scab

Peach scab is common but not limited to peach trees growing in the warm, moist and humid regions of the south. Cladosporium carpophilu is the fungus which causes this condition, which is similar to brown rot. 
The affected fruits may develop brown spots which may all appear in case the fruits crack. This disease, although do not affect the taste, it does makes the peach skin too hard to slip during the canning process.
Using chemical or organic fungicide on the trees prior to, when the blossoms fall off the trees, helps in preventing the development of peach scab. Also, pruning peach trees, getting rid of fallen fruits and leaves also helps.