? about plum/peach tree problems

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Dixielee, Mar 12, 2005.

  1. Dixielee

    Dixielee Well-Known Member

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    N.C mountains
    We have several 4-6 year old peach and plum trees that were starting to produce well last year but were hit by something that looked like mold on the fruit. It caused them to shrivel up and fall off. I read somewhere that it was caused by our very wet spring, but there was something you could do for it. Can anyone point me in the right direction. What is it called, and what can I do about it. I would hate to lose my trees. We are fairly new to homesteading, and this is our first attempt at an "orchard". Thanks
     
  2. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Washington
    It sounds like brown rot. The main way to prevent this is by pruning your trees so that plenty of air and light gets into the middle of them. Damp, stagnant air just makes the fungal diseases happy. I also dormant spray my fruit trees with a bordeaux mix (copper sulfate, and lime sulfur mixed with a light oil) to kill any overwintering spores.

    The other big thing you do to avoid fungal problems is to make sure and clean up all of the downed fruit and leaves. If you leave it on the ground the rain and wind will just spread the spores back onto the trees.

    I don't know if your trees have started to leaf out yet. If not I'd go ahead and get the copper/lime sulfur mixture onto them. (sulfur works quick but doesn't last long, copper takes awhile to work but lasts a long time on the tree) If your trees are already leafed out, then skip the spray for this year - the sulfur will burn the leaves. Just add it to the chore list for next winter.

    Also get the tree canopy thinned out if you haven't pruned yet. Look for crossing branches, and branches growing into the tree canopy. Think "air movement" when you prune. Lastly, if you haven't done it already, get the old fruit and leaves cleaned up from around the base of the tree.

    This site might be useful:
    http://www.caf.wvu.edu/kearneysville/disease_descriptions/ombrownr.html
     

  3. Dixielee

    Dixielee Well-Known Member

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    N.C mountains
    Can we just ask for bordeaux mix at the gardening supply center? Is this something we need to do every year? Does it have a good success rate? Thank you so much, I hope we can get some fruit this year!
     
  4. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    The bordeaux mix you will have to do yourself. The ratio I use is:
    2 lb copper sulfate
    2 lb. lime sulfer (wettable powder)
    50 gallons of water
    2 cups dormant oil (1%)

    Adjust the amounts to fit the orchard you have. Mix the copper sulfate and lime sulfer separately in some water and then add them and your oil to the sprayer. I also use this mixture on my raspberries, grape vines, dogwoods, and other trees or shrubs that get fungal problems.

    Yes, you spray this every year. The copper and lime sulfer help to keep the fungal diseases down. The dormant oil smothers insect eggs and helps stick the minerals to the branches.

    As far as success rate. The only way to guarantee no rot at all in your orchard is probably to coat the trees with Captan or some other chemical fungicide. The bordeaux spray keeps the diseases down to a dull roar. You will probably still see *some* brown rot, but you won't lose most of your crop. I have found on my apples, the bordeaux mix is the most effective organic fungicide. Your garden supply store may be able to give you something that works better in your area.

    Good luck! I sure wish I could grow peaches here. I guess I'll just have to eat twice as many plums. :)