What's happening to this Peach Tree?

Asked May 23, 2019, 9:59 AM EDT

Any idea what might be going on with this peach tree? The tree is planted near a farmer's field (so might he have sprayed something to cause this?) or is the root rot or crown rot? Is this from too much rain or possibly something else? Thank you, Paul

Cecil County Maryland

1 Response

Hi- all of the causes you list are possible, either individually or in combination.
1. herbicide injury- we don't have detailed information on the specific symptoms one would expect to see with the most commonly used agronomic herbicides. Several of them (2,4-D, dicamba, glyphosate) produce curling, cupping, and distortion symptoms. You may want to contact your neighbor to find out if herbicide drift or run-off possibly caused the problem.
2. Check the trunk for peach tree borer injury- gobs of sap mixed with frass (borer excrement) pushed out of the trunk, and check trunk and large limbs for dark, sunken cankers. Canker diseases and peach tree borer would more likely cause gradual dieback in a tree that otherwise appears healthy.
3. If the tree is growing in an area that has experienced days of water saturation it could have reduced gas exchange and led to rapid dieback.
4. A combination of stressors over the past year could have depleted food reserves so that the tree only had enough energy to produce full bloom and new leaves and shoot growth.