16 June 2014

Peach Leaf Curl

Taphrina deformans is a fungal pathogen that causes Peach leaf curl. I don't recall seeing this striking gall-former previously and was quite struck by its appearance in a garden in Horton today. There are very few Welsh records on the NBN, which does not mean it's not elsewhere of course, but if you have seen this gall former locally I'd be interested to hear. The hosts are said to include Peach Prunus persica and Almond P. amygdalus, so I guess any fruit-growers out there will know more about how frequent this species is locally?
Thanks to Jack for letting us into his parent's wonderful garden.


Adam Mantell said...

Hi Barry, I have Peach leaf curl on a fan-trained nectarine tree (Prunus persica persica) in my garden in Rhoose. The last couple of years have been especially bad because of the wet winters (which is when the spores infect the dormant leaf and flower buds). In a bad year it can mean no fruit at all, when in good year I might get 50 or so. If Jack's parents want to control it I would recommend a spraying with Bordeaux mixture after leaf fall in the autumn, and again just before the buds break in the spring. Systemic fingicides are no good apparently.

I think the infection usually accompanies the tree from whichever nursery the trees are bought from - I've seen them on sale in a shocking state before. I don't think they are too fussy about pest control!

If you have a sunny south facing spot at home it's well worth planting one, the home ripened fruit are infinitely superior to the dross that comes from the supermarket!

Owain Gabb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Owain Gabb said...

My mother used to get a very similar if not the same thing on an almond tree in Newton Road, Mumbles. It was on many of the leaves and I remember it from childhood as being very vivid in colour and similar/the same as this. The tree is sadly no more

Owain Gabb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barry Stewart said...

It seems the fungus is probably widespread wherever there are host trees - thanks for the horticultural advice Adam - I'll let them know.