Diseases of peach and apricot trees

Diseases of peach and apricot trees

According to a fairly widespread opinion, it is practically impossible to grow peach and apricot with the organic method, because they are two delicate species, which get sick easily and are attacked by many parasites.

According to this conviction, therefore, in order to obtain decent productions, it is necessary to intervene with chemical products.

In reality, today organic fruit growing has valid means at its disposal for the success of all crops, including peach and apricot, which are actually two delicate species. The strategies and means of organic farming require constancy and a certain timing in being adopted, otherwise it will be easy to demonstrate that it is not possible to cultivate with this method.

Prevent problems

First, it is prevention is fundamental already in the design phase of the orchard. As a first rule, in fact, it is advisable to choose to plant peach trees and apricots that are genetically resistant or tolerant to the most common adversities and in the planting it is necessary to choose adequate planting layouts, foreseeing the size of the adult plants.

After implantation, the following preventive measures always apply:

  • Pruning must be managed in such a way as to maintain good aeration of the foliage.
  • The infected plant parts must always be removed from the orchard to prevent the spread of the disease, and this precaution also applies to fallen leaves in autumn, which must be raked away.
  • Irrigation must not take place by sprinkling but only under the foliage, to leave the aerial part of the plant dry.
  • The fertilizations must be balanced, never excessive, to avoid the vegetative growth given by too much nitrogen which can also come from excessive doses of manure and which makes the vegetable tissues less resistant.

Main diseases of peach and apricot trees

Let's now see what are the main fungal diseases affecting the two fruit species.

Peach bubble

This is the most common disease in peach trees. The fungus mainly damages the leaves, creating reddish blistering, but it also damages the flowers by deforming them and causing them to abort. For the onset of the disease, 7-8 ° C and a rain of a few hours are sufficient, which is why it often occurs early in the season, even when the plant wakes up.

In difficult springs the plants can be completely defoliated, with very negative consequences on production. For this reason, just before the opening of the buds it is advisable to do a preventive treatment with calcium polysulfide, an effective product but to be used always carefully reading all the information on the labels. Later, to limit treatments during the season, it is advisable to regularly sprinkle horsetail macerates, which protect against this pathology and from those described below, because they have a strengthening effect on the plants.

Monilia

A typical pathology of stone fruit, it affects both species and is favored by humid microclimates such as those of the valley floors and foggy plains. Low temperatures such as those of early spring are enough to give way to this pathology, which affects flowers, fruits and branches. The flowers turn brown, dry out and sometimes become covered with gray mold. On the twigs you can notice depressed notches and cracks and their terminal part dries up. The fruits rot and become covered with gray mold. Like the bubble, monilia can be treated with products based on calcium polysulphide, which must however be avoided during flowering, replacing it with a product based on the Bacillus subtilis fungus.

Corineo

The chorineum, which can also be called pitting, pitting or parasitic gummy, is a fungal disease that particularly affects apricots and other stone fruits. It is recognized by the symptoms on the leaves, or red-purple marks surrounding a halo, which then detach leaving the lamina pitted. On the branches you can see some cracks from which a gummy exudate comes out, while on the fruits small red spots are created which then become gummy encrustations. To block the corineum, treatments based on cupric products are useful, to be sprayed also as a preventive measure to the fall of the leaves and during the season after prolonged rains. In winter, the plant can also be protected with a log paste that cleans the bark from overwintering fungi.

Red spot

It affects both the leaves and the fruits of the apricot, causing the formation of reddish spots and defoliation of the plant. The fungus overwinters in the leaves on the ground (hence the importance of raking them away from the area under the foliage of the diseased plants) and in mid-April with the rains it reactivates infecting the young shoots. Also in this case the disease stops with copper-based products, which can at least be limited by adopting all the preventive measures already described and helping the plant to strengthen its natural defense mechanisms with spraying of horsetail macerate, which being rich in silicon has a beneficial effect on plant cells. The use of copper is in fact allowed in organic farming, but in the long run it accumulates in the soil as a metal and it is therefore good to make reasonable use of it.

Powdery mildew

Both species, peach and apricot, can be attacked by the powdery mildew fungus, which causes the appearance of whitish and slightly raised round spots on the fruits, which then fall or deform, and the classic white mold can be seen on the leaves. The fungus of this white disease is favored by the heat but the infections begin at the beginning of the season when the shoots open, so eliminating those affected promptly helps to contain their spread.

Spraying with sodium bicarbonate dissolved in water are very useful against powdery mildew, while subsequently we can also treat with sulfur-based products, which are ineffective below 18 ° C, unless they are very fine formulations. The important thing is to always read the instructions on the packaging carefully and use it carefully, without exceeding and respecting the precautions.

Other interesting reads:

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Sara Petrucci2020-08-06T23: 05: 14 + 02: 00
  1. pietro alberti18 May 2019 at 16:09

    Thanks.
    Synthetic and interesting notes. Good.

  2. Santina Oppi10 July 2019 at 9:10

    I have a problem, my apricots rot around the stone, outside they are beautiful, is it a disease? What can I do to solve the problem?

    • Matteo Cereda10 July 2019 at 10:58

      Hard to tell without seeing the damage. Is the outside of the apricot intact? Because fruit rot is generally monilia, but it can also be caused by insects such as moths or fruit flies, which ovify in the pulp, the larvae then dig tunnels inside the pulp causing rot.

  3. sergio16 February 2020 at 21:16

    what should I do ; both peaches and apricots make bubble like glue how can i treat them

    • Matteo Cereda17 February 2020 at 12:07

      Hi Sergio, read the article on the peach bubble, it should give you the information you are looking for.

  4. Andrew14 March 2020 at 13:20

    Good morning, my apricot has been sick for 4 years now, Some buds dry out and fall off, others, after a presumed ripening of the fruit, as soon as they take on a slight color they detach from the tree without being able to reach full ripeness, Other fruits instead it seems that wrinkle and mess on the ground ..
    The same problem has extended to my cherry tree. Last year it was completely in bloom, but at the end of flowering the buds dried up and they all fell to the ground. Only about twenty cherries have ripened. Can you give me a hand? I'd like to try and fix this damn problem.
    I thank you in advance,

    • Matteo Cereda14 March 2020 at 14:25

      Hi Andrea. It would be better to see the plants ... Is the damage also to the leaves? Do the buds have any signs of rosure? If you want to join the Orto Da Coltivare facebook group you can post photos of the plant there.

  5. TIZIANA5 June 2020 at 2.30 pm

    I have an apricot tree that, for the second consecutive year, blooms profusely but does not bear fruit. There is no fruit and the leaves seem withered, despite irrigation. The same thing happened last year too. The plant is quite large. The land is located in southern Sardinia. What can I do? Thanks!

    • Matteo Cereda8 June 2020 at 9:22

      Unfortunately I don't know enough to give you an answer, from what you say it seems to be a disease of the plant. Are there any spots on the leaves? There may also be some radical problems.

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