Leaf curl is a fungal disease that can attack various fruit tree varieties, but is most prevalent on peach and nectarine trees. Leaf curl is caused by the fungus Taphrina deformans. Early in the spring, shortly after the leaves emerge, the leaves appear thickened, puckered and curled and often a yellow, pink and red color. As the season progresses, the growth of new shoots is stunted and a whitish-gray powdery substance appears on the leaves.
The fungus that causes leaf curl infects the leaves very early in the spring, right at the time of bud break when fungal spores that have over-wintered on the bark are splashed on the leaves and a new season of infection begins.
Recommended Steps to Control Leaf Curl on Peach and Nectarine (Fruit) Trees
Leaves, once infected, cannot be cured during the same growing season. Once the disease is detected steps must be taken to prevent re-infection the following growing season. In the initial season that the disease is identified, spray the tree with the Fruit Tree, Vegetable & Ornamental Fungicide. Repeat the spray about 21 days later. The mid-season spray will not prevent or cure the disease, but is designed to reduce the fungal load for repeated infection and to prevent the spread to other healthy trees.