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Peach Leaf Curl Update

May 31, 2000

More cases of peach leaf curl have made their way to our lab. In the diagnostic process, a mistake has come to my attention—a mistake with a recommendation in the Illinois Homeowner’s Guide to Pest Management. As we discussed in issue no. 4, peach leaf curl is a spring disease of stone fruits. It can be controlled easily with one application of fungicide in the dormant season but before bud swell in the spring. This might be in the autumn after most of the leaves have fallen or in the spring 3 to 4 weeks before the buds swell. The Illinois Homeowner’s Guide to Pest Management incorrectly implies that Captan is to be used for this purpose. In fact, Captan will not be effective in controlling peach leaf curl. This mix-up will be corrected in the next edition of the manual. Meanwhile, put a note in your manual to indicate that dormant fungicides that are considered “excellent” for this purpose are Bravo and Ferbam. The fixed-copper fungicides such as bordeaux are considered “good.” Recommendations come from the Midwest Tree Fruit Pest Management Handbook.

Author: Nancy Pataky


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