A few days ago we noticed that our peach tree did not look right. On close observation, we discovered the leaves were curling and spotted. However, the new leaves on the tips of the branches seemed to be growing normally.
We did some research and found that the tree was suffering from a fungus that had formed when the buds were developing in late winter. Although there is nothing we can do about it now, it won't affect the tree except for the loss of the curled leaves. After some compost to help the tree regain its vigor, it will be as good as new.
We learned that this fungus can be treated before it forms by application of a fungicide in late winter, but the timing of the treatment is critical and the results are hit or miss. Because we are growing organic peaches, we decided we will take our chances and treat the tree with compost.
This tree was planted two years ago. Last year we had 5 peaches and we were not expecting many more than that this year. We were surprised when we noticed there were a hundred or so tiny peaches under the withered flower buds.
After more research, we learned that the tree cannot possibly produce that many peaches without them being very small and possibly breaking the branches with their weight.
We removed many of the tiny peaches by hand only allowing one every four inches or so. Although we knew it was the right thing to do, it was still hard removing all those little peaches from the branches.
After a thick layer of compost and a good watering, we are hoping for the best. There's nothing like a big juicy peach picked fresh from your own tree. We will keep you updated.