Wilting leaves on a younger peach tree

Asked June 15, 2019, 10:53 AM EDT

I planted this younger dwarf peach tree last summer. It seemed do be doing fine until about 2 weeks ago and is now showing wilting leaves and losing them. No sign of insect infestation. What do you think?

Baltimore County Maryland

3 Responses

Hi- we think your tree is showing stress symptoms from the fruit load. The tree does not have enough energy to ripen all of those fruits and produce more roots and top growth. Removing some of the green fruits will help restore some nutritional balance. (We recommend that blooms and fruits be removed from dwarfed peach tress the first two years after planting.)
Keep the tree well-watered through the summer and fall when rainfall is insufficient. Fertilize in early spring and remove the baby peaches next year. This will allow your tree to grow a strong root system. You may also want to enlarge the circumference of the mulches area to reduce lawn competition.

Ah- that makdes sense to me. I already had taken off 20 peaches. I did notice a sappy substance at many of the branch/leaf joints. Sprayed it with organic soap in case there were some aphids or something living on that. Was that a good thing to do?

We recommend that gardeners not spray any pesticides until they've identified the cause of the problem and have considered and used non-chemical approaches to solve the problem before resorting to pesticides.

Insecticidal soap is relatively harmless, but even organic pesticides can harm non-target insects, including pollinators and natural enemies of pests.