Peach tree leaf curling

Question

My nectarine and peach trees have recently begun to develop leaf curl. I have cut off some of the worst branches but new growth still has leaf curl. What should I do to prevent this?

Answer

With leaf curl, it does come down to prevention, which is essential. It can be controlled by applications of copper oxychloride or lime sulphur during the tree's dormancy (winter).
 
The most effective time to spray your fruit trees is when the buds are swelling but before they have opened. Once the fungus has entered the leaves, there is no way to control leaf curl.
 
Because your tree is already infected, prevent it next year by spraying as above. It’s an ongoing process to repeat each winter to stop re-infection.
 
Normal pruning techniques should remove most of the infected or dead branches and garden hygiene is very important. Remove all dead leaves that have fallen to the ground during the growing season to lessen the chance of re-infection. Do not put infected leaves or branches into the compost bin – remove them from the property.
 
Apply Daltons Garden Time Fruit & Citrus Fertiliser in early spring when plants are coming into growth. Then feed at six weekly intervals until mid-December, recommencing in mid-February and feeding through till autumn.

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