Saturday, May 31, 2008

Peach Tragedy

With the warmer sunnier weather, the Peach Leaf Curl seems to have stopped infecting the newest leaf sprouts. However, so much damage was done that many of the branches are dead. I pruned off everything that I thought was dead, and then a few strategic shaping cuts, and pruned back to new growth where I could. Most of the prunings were dry and crunchy.

This is "Honey babe". It was the hardest hit. I still dont know if it will survive. I gave it a good dose of fish emulsion.

This is "Garden Gold". It seems to be starting a recovery. I hope so. It also got a dose of fish emulsion.

Fish emulsion is stinky, and probably for that reason the dogs love it. They follow closely and lick the watering can when I set it down.

The newly planted peaches were completely untouched by the leaf curl. As bare root trees, I suspect that they were stored indoors, in a climate controlled barn (I saw that at Raintree Nurseries). That supports the idea that preventing rain from washing spores into the buds might help prevent the disease. I had worried that covering them would make overheat, due to solar energy, or make them dry out, because the rain would be diverted. However, this is far worse. It's also proof that neem oil is not a panacea. Of course, nothing is a panacea, and I knew that. My plan this fall will be to build a 'barn' to cover each tree. Since they are miniature trees, it should not be too difficult.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:03 PM

    I've heard that leaf curl will not occur IF rain is kept off the blossoms. It was advised to cover the tree with a clear plastic bag when raining. Then you only have to deal with a baked peach tree if you forgot to remove the bag when the sun came out. Wish I had heard this advice BEFORE I got rid of my tree!