Many of you know the benefits of dormant spraying with horticultural oils like our PestFighter Year-Round Spray Oil to control scales, mites, aphid eggs, caterpillar eggs, and more.
In this article, we highlight a couple of other diseases common in our area and help you identify and treat them.
As always, you can bring in samples (in sealed baggies please!) and we’ll help you with the ID. And don’t forget, always follow the instructions on the product packaging!
Peach Leaf Curl
Peach Leaf Curl affects the blossoms, fruit, leaves, and shoots of peaches and nectarines, and is one of the most common disease problems for backyard gardeners growing these trees. The distorted, reddened foliage that it causes is easily seen in spring. When severe, the disease can reduce fruit production substantially. Other fruit trees may experience a curly leaf symptom, but it would be due to something other than Peach Leaf Curl.
To prevent Peach Leaf Curl on your peaches and nectarines this year, treat them with Liqui-Cop Fungicide. Multiple applications while trees are dormant — November, January and March — make the treatment more effective in our area.
The final application is the most important and should occur when the flower buds begin to swell, but before green leaf tips are first visible, typically in March.
Scab on Apples and Pears
Scab infections are usually noticed first on leaves which become twisted or puckered and have spots on them. Scab can also infect flower stems causing the flowers to drop. Later in the season, scabby spots may be found on fruit. Scab can cause fruit drop or malformed fruit.
If your apple or pear trees had this disease last year, it can be addressed through cultural practices and dormant spraying of fungicide.
Cultural practices include raking and removing leaves from the yard. If you use sprinklers that spray on the fruit trees’ leaves, irrigate between sunrise and noon to allow the leaves to dry quickly.
Dormant spray with Monterey Fruit Tree Fungicide just as the tips of the green leaves can be seen. Additional applications should be made per the product instructions.