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Movin' to the country, gonna eat me a lot of peaches...
July 11, 2011 8:14 PM   Subscribe

Can I eat peaches from a tree that has some sort of leaf curl blight?

I moved into my house outside of SF in November. There is a peach/nectarine hybrid tree in the backyard. When the leaves grew in this spring, they were obviously affected by something - most of the leaves were bubbled, pocked and curled. Google searching led me to believe it was peach leaf curl.

Most of the leaves fell off. Then more leaves grew. Now most of the leaves are healthy looking - maybe 10-15% show signs of the leaf curl. The tree is also heavy with fruit that's starting to ripen. Are these...peacharines?...nectapeaches?...safe to eat?
posted by gnutron to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
 
Yup.
posted by serazin at 8:17 PM on July 11, 2011


And if you don't want 'em, I'll drive from Oakland to come take 'em off your hands.
posted by serazin at 8:18 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Delicious! They're probably peacherines and I'm a little bit jealous of your tree. They should be safe, but in the long-term interests of the tree it might be worth thinning the fruit (e.g. by removing every second fruit as early as possible) so that it can preserve its resources - having to grow two sets of leaves and a heavy crop of fruit in a single year takes a lot out of a tree. If the fruit are starting to ripen, though, it might be getting too late for that. Spray the tree with a copper fungicide early next Spring to stop this happening again.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 9:00 PM on July 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


A peach tree we had when I was a kid did something similar and went on for years. We never had a problem eating the peaches.
posted by LionIndex at 9:02 PM on July 11, 2011


You cannot get peach leaf curl.
posted by ZaneJ. at 10:42 PM on July 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


You can do a lot to control peach curl. The key is spraying the tree when it's dormant with a copper spray (there are lots of them out there, make sure it's at least 50% copper). In the Pacific Northwest the recommended time is early spring, before blossoms, but it might be different in your climate. The copper is harmless to people, birds and plants. Peach curl is much more likely to show up on young trees, and if it's been a wet winter. Our trees needed spraying for about 4 years, but they're fine without it now.

The trees look terrible with curl, and then most of the diseased leaves fall off and they look even more awful, but new leaves come in and the peaches grow and are totally unaffected.

Definitely thin the fruit. It's hard -- visions of piles of juicy fruit, and the little peaches are so cute. But harden your heart and pick most of those tiny baby peaches off; you'll be glad you did.
posted by kestralwing at 6:45 AM on July 12, 2011


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