What is wrong with my peach tree?
My peach tree leaves curled. This year was the first time they didn't curl, but my fruit didn't mature. They rotted or just fell off. What can I do?
New Castle County Delaware
Growing fruit trees in a backyard home garden setting in Delaware or the Mid-Atlantic States can be difficult, due to our humid weather patterns, diseases, and insect pests. What you describe is probably two different plant diseases. Peach leaf curl is the name of a disease that peaches get. It is specific to stone fruits, is caused by a fungus, and causes the leaves to pucker and curl. Peach leaf curl actually does not cause losses in the fruit. What you describe on the fruit is most likely insect damage due to the plum curculio and some fungal infection. Peach trees also get a bacterial leaf spot disease that can spread to the fruit.
Regardless, it is best to have a plan for your trees that includes regular pruning and regular fruit tree sprays for disease and insects in the spring, beginning at the time trees bloom. Sprays are preventative and will not cure existing problems. Please see the fact sheet at the web site below:
Thank you for contacting Cooperative Extension,