Our peach tree (“Reliance”) is now 4 years old and needed fairly severe pruning. Every expert I have talked to and every article I have read concerning peach tree maintenance have recommended this step. So, I did. Apparently I have done a good job by trimming about 1/3 of smaller branches and all the vertical suckers. In few weeks time the tree was absolutely covered in pink flowers.
Then, when leaves came out 2 weeks later they immediately started to curl, got brittle and the ones I didn’t remove fell off. The tree got leaf curl, fungus that is dormant in wood over winter and strikes in the spring.
There is a spray on the market and I have it but we had such a lousy fall that I just couldn’t do it. I needed dry period of 2 days and windless weather. There was not a single day that I could have sprayed. Anyway, new wood started to grow and with it new leaves but the fruits started to fall off just after forming and kept falling off till about end of July. We had 36 peaches left to mature.
Last year the tree was so heavy with fruit that I had to support 4 branches with 2X2 lumber to prevent the limb from splitting. We had at least 200 pounds of fruit from that tree and were giving it away by buckets. Many branches were permanently bent because of the weight.
Fruit trees are fun to have but, boy, do they ever require TLC! This fall I will be spraying for sure. And next spring I will have to prune again because all the wood grew back, tree’s revenge, I guess.