Fall is a time for our treasured peach trees to wind down. This time of year, peach trees trade in their sweet fruit for a flush of colorful autumn leaves.
As the season carries on, peach trees eventually lose their leaves to prepare for a restful winter. A bare tree at the start of wintertime shouldn’t be a cause for concern. But, in any other season, peach trees with fallen or discolored leaves deserve a closer look.
Below, read about a few peach tree problems to look out for in spring and summer.
Peach trees are deciduous, which means they naturally drop their leaves every year. So, leaf loss in late fall or early winter is healthy and necessary. As for peach trees that lose leaves at other times of the year, a pest or disease could be the cause.
Yep! Peach tree leaves take on classic fall colors like red, orange, brown or yellow.
As mentioned, your peach tree leaves could turn yellow in fall as part of their natural growth process. However, yellow peach tree leaves could also be a sign of trouble. For example:
That’s caused by peach leaf curl. It’s a fungal disease that targets trees during the growing season. A cool, wet spring day is the perfect environment for the fungus to spread and infect a tree.
Initial symptoms of this disease include peach tree leaves turning red, puckering up and curling. As the spring season goes on, this disease causes leaves to turn yellow and fall off early.
Once the fungus is in full swing—i.e., you have peach tree leaves folding, changing color and dropping—there’s no way to stop it. You’ll have to let the disease run its course and then plan to treat the tree with a fungicide before next year's growing season.
Aphids are tiny leaf-sucking pests that feed on thousands of trees. Aphid feeding leads to a sticky coating on tree leaves called honeydew, and that honeydew often attracts a mold that turns leaves black. To top it off, aphid feeding can cause leaf curling or yellowing and early leaf drop.
If you want to take the job into your own hands, try hosing your tree down. A strong gust of water knocks aphids right off, and once they fall, it’s not likely they’ll find their way back.
This blog post includes additional tips and information on how to get rid of aphids on large and tall trees, but the tips laid out here apply to any size tree!