What spray programme should I use for peach and nectarine trees to avoid leaf curl?

Q.

What spray programme should I use for peach and nectarine trees to avoid leaf curl?

Jai

A.

Hi Jai, this is a great question. Some peach and nectarine varieties are more susceptible to leaf curl than others. Dwarf stonefruit seem particularly susceptible to leaf curl. A winter spray programme of copper oxychloride and oil is always advantageous after winter pruning up until bud burst. This will give protection to the tree and also help control any overwintering fungal spores. Leaf curl is more prevalent some years than others, it mainly affects trees early in the season (spring) when it is cool and wet. Trees usually grow out of it as temperatures warm.

Make sure you pick up any diseased leaves and put them in the rubbish or burn them as this will help stop leaf curl spreading, it overwinters in the soil and in leaf litter. If the leaf litter is put into the compost then this is helping spread the disease the following season. Look for leaf curl resistant varieties if you are planting any more stone fruit.

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What spray programme should I use for peach and nectarine trees to avoid leaf curl? Comments

  • What can I spray on my dwarf nectarines for curly leaf. I still have some flowers and fruit is just setting.

    Jane

    • Hi Jane, use a copper based spray as a preventative over winter, before bud burst in spring and then two weeks after bud burst. Leaf curl is prevalent in cool wet weather and once temperatures warm up it disappears but it does overwinter in buds so a winter spray programme is important. Collect up fallen infected leaves and burn or put in the rubbish to stop it spreading, some stone fruit varieties are more susceptible to leaf curl than others, plant resistant varieties.

      Tui Team

  • Hi. I planted a dwarf nectarine last year and it developed leaf curl. I decided this year to spray with copper and oil. This spring it was covered in blossom however, now there is no sign of any growth on the tree at all. I wonder if I have been too vigorous with the spray?

    Rose

    • Hi Rose, as long as the copper and oil were used at the correct dilution and rate on the pack, there should be no reason the tree hasn’t burst into leaf. The only is if the oil was sprayed on a hot day and used at the winter rate, new foliage could be damaged by the oil but the foliage should still come away, it won’t kill the tree. Try applying Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic weekly until the tree recovers. Leaf curl reduces the vigour of trees, but won’t cause them to die. It is usually short lived and occurs when temperatures are cool and wet, as temperatures warm it goes away.

      Tui Team