Winter dormancy is a fantastic opportunity to spray Stone fruit trees for leaf curl and other fungal diseases which in fact, cannot be treated at any other time of year! Lime or Copper spays should be applied to your tree either at leaf fall (Autumn) and/or at bud swell (this can be as early as June - depending on the varieties on your tree). If your tree has shown signs of leaf curl in previous seasons, it is a good idea to spray in Autumn AND at bud swell to ensure through treatment and good coverage. Sprays should be repeated about 1 week apart, and can be applied using a hand sprayer following the product label. Sprays for leaf curl are available from most plant nurseries and hardware stores.
Florda Prince (the yellow peach variety we use on our trees) is the first of the stone fruits to ‘wake up’ from dormancy. This ‘waking up’ can be seen as a swelling of the blossom buds, long before any leaves emerge. Development stages for stone fruit are shown below
(Source: Orchard plant protection guide for deciduous fruits in NSW 2017 – 18 NSW Department of Primary Industries).
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