Peach Leaf Curl

Encyclopedia Article

Image of peach leaf curl
Peach leaf curl 


Symptoms of  peach leaf curl include puckered leaves, distorted leaf blades that turn light green fading into pink or red, along with defoliation.

Signs and symptoms of peach leaf curl

The leaves become puckered, distorted leaf blades turn light green fading into pink or red.  Defoliation can be severe if the weather is conducive, and ultimately peach production will be reduced. Note this pathogen infects mainly the leaves and would only move to the fruit, when the disease is severe, and management tactics have not been in place. this disease can occur in the single trees or orchards. When affected, fruit can be enlarged, puckered or have scabby lesions.

Disease cycle of peach leaf curl 

 Peach leaf curl is caused by the fungus Taphrina deformans.  This pathogen is we plant doctors called monocyclic, meaning these fungal spores infect peach leaves only once a year in the spring. Taphrina deformans survive winter on buds or twigs of the tree.

Type of Sample Needed for Diagnosis and Confirmation

The Iowa State University Plant & Insect Diagnostic Clinic can help you to investigate and confirm if you plant has this disease. Please see our website for current forms, fees, and instructions on collecting and packing samples. Contact information for each states diagnostic laboratory for U.S. residents.  If your sample is from outside of Iowa please do not submit it to the Plant & Insect Diagnostic Clinic without contacting us

Image of peach leaf curl
Peach leaf curl 

Management of peach leaf curl 

Peach leaf curl can be controlled with a single fungicide spray, but timing is critical. Fungicide application is most effective when the tree is dormant, in the fall after leaves fall or in the spring before buds swell. Some of the fungicides registered for control of leaf curl include liquid lime-sulfur, chlorothalonil, and copper products.  Recommended fungicides for commercial production can be found at the most up to date Midwest Fruit Pest Management Guide.