I have a perfectly growing nectarine tree in my backyard. Every year it gives plenty of Nectarine. For last 2 years I see the leaves curl up and the fruits get some fungal infection. Anything I can do to prevent this from happening ? Please let me know what to do
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Leaf curl is something that you need to get on top of prior to buds swelling. Before the buds swell it is a good idea to spray with Yates 500ml Lime Sulphur Concentrate. Just a warning this product does not smell particularly great. This is followed up by spraying the tree when the buds are swelling/opening (late winter) with a copper-based fungicide like Yates 200ml Liquid Copper Fungicide.
This disease lays dormant over winter and it is noticeable in spring. You are too late for the sulphur treatment this year but I would still encourage you to apply the fungicide. Next year I would get on top of this early and do both the sulphur treatment and the fungicide.
First spray (lime sulphur) should be immediately after pruning in mid to late winter. Agreed it's too late now but the copper spray will inhibit the fungus maturing and shedding spores that will catch in bud scales and bark crevices before next winter.
I believe copper-based fungicides are safe to spray directly on the fruit. You might find there is a with-holding period where you shouldn't pick for a few days after spraying and as always wash the fruit well.
I'm sure @Noelle will be able to tell us if that is not correct. Alternatively, if Noelle doesn't get back to us I'll contact Yates after the weekend to verify.
Copper-based sprays are safe to apply at this stage - it will be quite some time before the fruits are ripe enough to pick and eat!
Yates Leaf Curl Copper Fungicide has a ONE DAY withholding period. A good idea with any garden chemical to always check out the manufacturer/wholesaler website for accurate info.
These answers were super helpful as a first time peach tree owner (inherited in the new home we purchased). Unfortunately, I didn't know about these preventative measures and leaf curl has popped up.
Aside from these treatments, should I remove all the leaves with visible leaf curl signs (it's mid spring here in Tasmania/ my tree has leaves and flowers lost their petals and revealed the fruit that will be).
Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @cheslockjennife. It's wonderful to have you join us, and many thanks for your question about nectarine care.
Before spraying fungicides, it's best to remove the affected leaves from the tree and those fallen on the ground around the base. You can also clean up around the base any debris and bag it all for the hard rubbish. Do not place it in a compost bin. If all the leaves on the tree are affected, we'd need to decide whether removing them all is the right decision. However, if it is just some, then remove them.
You'll then spray all the leaves and the ground surrounding the plant.
Please keep us updated on your plant and let us know if you need further assistance.
Hi @cheslockjennife I had the same issue with my dwarf peach tree. A couple of years ago I found a recipe for a natural home remedy. Organicgardner.com.au. I halved the recipe as I only have 1 dwarf tree. I spray it on when the tree is dormant. It has definitely worked for me. I leave the mix in a jar in the garage and every year I make a spray bottle and give it a going over. This year is the biggest crop I've had. There are so many little peaches on every branch hiding under the healthy leaves.