Ministry of Agriculture

Peach Leaf Curl

Causal agent: Taphrina deformans

Peach leaf curl is a fungus disease that appears in the spring on peach and nectarine if there has been prolonged wet, cool weather just as new growth is developing. Infected leaves become thick, curled and discoloured and eventually drop. Heavy leaf infection and subsequent leaf drop may reduce crop and tree vigour. Only developing leaves are susceptible. Maximum susceptibility occurs between bud break and petal fall.

peach leaf curl Peach leaf curl

Chemical Control

  1. For good control it is essential that fungicides be applied before the buds break.
  2. Recommended fungicides include a dormant spray of ferbam, Bravo 500 (chlorothalonil) or lime-sulphur before bud development begins in the spring.  
  3. A spray of fixed copper applied after harvest in September will give adequate control of peach leaf curl in most years. However, in wet years the late winter dormant spray listed above is also needed. Bravo 500 may also be applied as a fall dormant spray at 75-100% leaf drop. Note: Do not exceed 3 Bravo applications per year.

Cultural Control

  1. No variety is immune to leaf curl, but Redhaven and most varieties derived from Redhaven have some tolerance.
  2. Sanitation is not effective for control of leaf curl
  3. Sheltering peach and nectarine trees from the rain may reduce disease severity on backyard trees.

February 2010


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