Lots of Peach Leaf Curl and few apricots, but not all is lost

A wet winter and spring means the peaches and nectarines have a bad case of leaf curl.

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Several people have said things to me this spring to the effect that with all the rain, my fruit trees must be doing great. Well, for those that are prone to diseases in wet years, not so much.

Moreover, the apricots and apriums have set little or no fruit, with one exception. It was probably too wet and cool during their bloom; they did bloom well and are not currently showing any disease problems. Just fruitless. (The exception is the ‘Canadian White Blenheim‘ apricot, which has a lot of fruit; this variety rarely blooms well or sets more than one or two. Go figure.)

On the good side, the plums and pluots have set well.

Also on the good side is that the peaches and nectarines have better fruit set than usual. The leaf curl should not affect the fruit. The biggest problem is that the infected leaves will dry and fall off in coming weeks. The trees will replace them, but of course, this means the trees will be stressed and have less energy for fruit than if they had avoided the disease. But they should come through OK, at least if my past experience is any guide. This is, however, the worst peach leaf curl outbreak I can recall ever seeing in any of my orchards.

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