Q:

How do you treat leaf curl?

A:

Leaf curl is a fungal disease that affects the blossoms, fruit, leaves and shoots of peach, nectarine, almond and apricot trees. The disease damages the leaves and makes them fall early, reducing fruit production. Items needed to treat leaf curl are fungicide, fertilizer and protective gear.

  1. Inspect the tree leaves

    In the spring, inspect the leaves for red areas. If left untreated, these areas become thick and puckered, and they make the leaves curl. The thickened areas change from yellow to grayish white when spores appear on the surface of the leaves, and they later turn brown and may fall off the tree.

  2. Inspect the shoots

    Inspect the tree shoots for infection. Infected shoots appear thick, stunted and distorted. The shoots often die when infected.

  3. Treat the tree

    Treat the tree yearly with a fungicide that contains copper. Spray after the leaves have fallen. Apply a second coat if there are large amounts of rainfall or if there is a wet winter. Spray the tree until it is dripping or until there is runoff. Wear protective clothing, gear and goggles when spraying the fungicide.

  4. Apply fertilizer

    Apply nitrogen fertilizer to the tree. The nitrogen fertilizer encourages the tree to replace lost leaves and maintain good health.

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