Time to Treat for Peach Leaf Curl?

Peach leaf curl is a disease that affects peach and nectarine trees. Although you may not see symptoms right now in the dormant season in California, it's time to think about treatment, especially if your tree had the disease last year.

Symptoms of this fungal disease include distortion, thickening, and reddening of foliage as trees leaf out in the spring. As weather warms, damaged leaves that die and fall off trees are replaced with new, usually healthy leaves. However, after several years without treatment, peach leaf curl will cause tree decline and reduced fruit production.

Avoid peach leaf curl by growing varieties resistant to the disease. For nonresistant peach and nectarine trees, consider spraying with preventive fungicides in the dormant season just before or as buds swell.

See the UC IPM publication Pest Notes: Peach Leaf Curl for more information about the disease and management options. Always read and carefully follow all precautions and safety recommendations given on the pesticide label.


By Anne Schellman
Author - UC Master Gardener Coordinator