[NAFEX] Peach Disease or Insects?

Don Yellman don.yellman at webformation.com
Thu Apr 27 15:25:40 EDT 2006


I have had both bacterial spot (which also visibly affects the leaves) and peach scab in past years, and managed to eliminate them with timely dormant sprays of Kocide.  Neither of these diseases resulted in blobs of pectin on the fruit, and the photo in your referenced link, which looks exactly like what I had,  shows none.

You may not have serious oriental fruit moth infestations in northern Illinois, but in the east and southeast we do.  While we have yet to hear from Shirley with perhaps a better description of the problem on her little peach fruits, and a more specific location than zone 7, she does live in the southeast somewhere, and that is where the OFM is most active.  In many southeastern orchards, the OFM will visit every peach on the tree if allowed to do so, leaving from 1 to 3 little blobs of pectin on the surface.  Such fruits will soon contain OFM larvae, which tunnel around near the pit and usually cause the fruit to drop prematurely.  Even OFM penetrations that do not result in larvae compromise the integrity of the skin, which causes brown rot later in the season.  When I spray for OFM early in the season, I also include a fungicide like Captan in the mix to prevent other early problems of peaches: small patches of powdery mildew and rusty spot.  When either of these is visib
le on a peach at thinning time, that is one to take off.

The oriental fruit moth can also affect the twigs of trees when the larvae tunnel in, leaving swollen ends on small branches, and causing twig and even branch dieback.

The only things the OFM likes better than peaches are smooth-skinned stone fruits such as nectarines or pluots.  To grow such fruits in the southeast, you pretty much have to stand by the tree with a sprayer all season long, or bag the fruits after thinning.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA 

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