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 Peach leaf curl - again! 
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Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 4:23 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Monmouth Oregon
Post Peach leaf curl - again!
This winter I followed the directions and applied microcopper and sticking agent to my 8 peaches and nectarines once a month starting in November, but I still am getting a bad case of leaf curl, just like last year when I screwed-up the spray program up due to bad poly sulfur (I thought). I ended up spraying with microcopper later, after the fruit were pingpong ball size and the trees recovered nicely, but I wouldn't chance eating the sprayed fruit.

In early April of this year I noticed some curled leaves again, so I picked the affected leaves and sprayed 2 more times at a weekly interval, but I'm still finding lots of affected leaves and I'm afraid to spray any more for fear of contaminating my just-forming fruit with copper.

Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated,

Frank


Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:44 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2004 9:09 am
Posts: 138
Location: Canby, OR Z8
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I sprayed twice this year, and last, and still my Harken peach is badly infected with PLC. My three other trees, however, are not. They are Avalon Pride, Charlotte, and Oregon Curl Free. All touted as PLC resistant. I wonder if the spraying is doing anything at all. My advice is to plant only resistant varieties.
As far as the trees you currently have, timing of sprays is apparently critical. You have to nail them during bud-swell which can be tricky. I don't know much about that so I'll say nothing more.


Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:26 am
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Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:23 pm
Posts: 95
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Frank:
Stop spraying for peach leaf curl. That fungus infected the buds in mid-December and mid-January (and possibly the end of January. Timing is eveerything! Anyway after January STOP SPRAYING! Researchers claim that picking and destroying the infected leaves have no effect on fungal spore count in the orchard. But if itr makes you feel better, pick and destroy.
Ted


Wed May 02, 2007 8:09 pm
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:25 pm
Posts: 26
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Copper sprays such as copper sulfate are completely harmless and you can spray an hour before you eat the fruits, and it will be okay. Copper sulfate are often used in swimming pools as clearing agent, sometimes in spas and many people unwittingly accidentally drink from them especially children. It would only be toxic for sheeps which suffer toxic reactions to all sorts of copper sprays.

Yes timing is indeed everything. After the budswell and the bloom, it is already too late to do anything against PLC, but not quite, let me tell about that later.

Just about after leaf fall, apply heavy dose of copper, then in the dead winter, apply lime sulfur, and the most critical one, is during budswell, just days before those bud breaks is the single most effective spray if you miss out on all the others. Some years you will still lose out if the timing of prolonged rainfall coincide with budswell.

Now since you have it, and it is actually too late to correct for your problem, why then this post? Of course, there is that next season to do it better, but most importantly now is to help the plant recover. Taking out the infected leaves as some of you have pointed out is a waste of time and labor. the leaves will dry out and fall off before the fall season, and this stresses out the tree, making it weaker the next season. To help the tree recover from the stress of losing its leaves because of PLC infection, you can fertilize heavily with nitrogen, supplemented with epsom salt or magnesium sulfate. For each lb of ammonium sulfate apply 1/4 lb of epsom. (Nitrogen and Magnesium are the major nutrients lost in the leaves and there was no time to translocate them because of PLC infection, so you should replace them, unlike the regular unaffected leaves in the fall, the plant reabsorbs back those nutrients). Fertilize heavily your tree to encourage leaf growth and increase vegetative vigor and to help replenish the nutrients that were lost to PLC. That is the one very good thing you can do with your peach tree right now. They will have good chances next year, along with your better timing of spray. So it is not too late to do real corrective measures by strengthening your tree's vigor instead of the futile attempt of getting rid of the manifestations of infections.

Just one good tip that has been overlooked.


Mon Jul 02, 2007 8:16 am
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Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2004 9:09 am
Posts: 138
Location: Canby, OR Z8
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I've had good success controlling PLC on my Avalon Pride, Charlotte, and Oregon Curl Free. These varieties are supposedly resistent to begin with. I also have a Harken which has been hammered by PLC both seasons I've had it. It has no reputation of PLC resistance that I know of. Oddly enough it has quite a few peaches on it. I think I'll leave them there, see if the tree can ripen them, and then get rid of the tree.
Although, I can't help but suspect that I somehow forgot to spray the poor guy.
I've also begun to wonder if my trees' natural resistance, or lach thereof, is the main factor and that my spraying has been a waste of time.


Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:00 am
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1154
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
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...Harken... that brings back memories~ I think my last attempt at growing peaches was a Harken. Funny, after searching several pages online, I didn’t find any mention of it being Leaf Curl resistant..? But from what I can remember ~ that's how it was initially advertised; the reason I planted it; and the reason it was my last of 5 peach tree attempts.

An Uncle of mine grew peaches on Sauvies Island (Portland) for years; he'd told me they would spray them with something every two weeks, nearly all year long; and the 'stuff' they were using was about to be banned (so the owner bought up pallets of it in advance).

My experience with peaches was that PLC was easy to fix; it was the two or three other killer-diseases and susceptibilities that eventually did them in. And, it was a painfully slow process: a limb here, a limb there, and after about four years of that the trees were virtually worthless. As I've got my Ortho Problem Solver book sitting here, here's what it lists as specific peach & nectarine problems in our region: Shothole fungus; Leaf curl; Peach twig borers; Brown rot; maybe some "Catfacing," and definitely Aphids! Not to mention Gummosis!

And if that's not enough, check out Wikipedia's lineup: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pe ... e_diseases

...I know, I shouldn’t be discouraging anyone from growing nectarines or peaches, but as one who's given up - I thought I'd at least explain way :cry:

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Mon Jul 02, 2007 1:15 pm
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:25 pm
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That is why I don't have too many peaches in my yard, a lot of work. But with better techniques and varieties, they have some spot in my yard.

I'll be slowly converting over to the genetic dwarf which are getting tastier with newer releases, and they are so easy to put under a big beach umbrella or drape with floating row cover and plastic.

Has anyone tried that trick during the rainy season and there is budswell? It is next to impossible on bigger trees but genetic dwarf peaches and nectarines, it will be a cinch.


Mon Jul 02, 2007 2:05 pm
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Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 4:23 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Monmouth Oregon
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I only have 8 dwarf trees and peaches and nectarines are worth almost any effort for me, as long as they produce!

It looks this will be a good year for fruit, the first good one, despite the PLC problems, and the possible loss of another tree (one previously died). My location isn't a good one, too much shade, but peaches are my definition of when summer starts and the little fruit I got 2 years ago makes my mouth water in anticipation.

As I've gotten my wife convinced that grass is not all that great an attraction (by getting her to mow it!), I've added asian pears and blueberries; there were some ever-bearing strawberries as ground cover when I bought the lot, so this is a pretty serious bit of output for this city fella.


Mon Jul 02, 2007 4:07 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2004 9:09 am
Posts: 138
Location: Canby, OR Z8
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> I know, I shouldn’t be discouraging anyone from growing nectarines or peaches,
> but as one who's given up - I thought I'd at least explain way

Give up on peaches? Not yet. My Avalon Pride is loaded with peaches that are already ripening. My Oregon Curl Free appears to have a decent crop too. Charlotte is a shy bearer, but still manages an offering. Although I find that my peaches are sometimes soft and watery on one side, and hard on the other. Still decent flavor, though. If they do succumb and die due to disease problems I think I would replant them. As long as I got, say, five years of production.
This year's peach crop is my best so far. Last year I switched to summer pruning and that may have made all the difference. It could also be that the trees are just naturally maturing into productivity. Or this has just been an exceptional peach year, hard to say.


Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:40 am
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