Help me diagnose this peach tree problem

Happens every year. Tree breaks dormancy fine, leafs out fine, starts to grow then this happens:

Out of my grouping of 12 these 2 are the smallest and have very poor growth. Both are PF series peaches (5B and 24).

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Here is another issue. PC possibly??

Looks to me like Bacterial Spot.

I don’t know about the bugs problem, but at the bottom leafs turn yellow color it’s the same thing with over watering problem to me.

What sources of Iron, Copper, and Zinc has this tree received over the last 12 months?

I will tell you probably nothing. The rest of my trees (10 more) also receive nothing. What would you recommend i get to feed these nutrients?

In small quantities Fe Cu and Zn are nutrients, in moderate quantities they are pesticides, and in larger quantities they are toxic to your plants. I believe the leaf spot symptoms shown in your photos is due to anaerobic bacteria in the root zone that can be controlled by soil drench with copper-based pesticides. A well-known over-the-counter product is “Liqui-Cop” from Monterey Garden Products. In my opinion the directions on the label are very straightforward for backyard gardeners. A high-end solution which requires a pesticide license in some states is Copper Hydroxide (e.g., Dupont Kocide 3000). This product is geared for commercial farming and would require some calculations to figure out a dosage for your home – and for that matter, a 5 Lb bag might last you a lifetime.


I used Kocide 3000 for the first time this season (spring). The one thing i find funny is that in a BYOC planting of 4 trees spaced 3ft apart these are the only 2 trees that have this issue.

I have seen BYOC of trees at short spacing and would not do it myself – except in the case where you have semi-dwarf that need each other as cross pollinators — for example I have Minnie Royal and Royal Lee cherries planted 4 foot on center from each other. Otherwise my trees are roughly on 10’ spacing.

Bacterial spot is typically caused by anaerobic bacteria which of course lives in oxygen depleted soil. This can happen when soils are saturated with water – and often happens in clays that otherwise have minerals that support the pathogen.

Sean, I have very similar problem, where one of my trees has the yellow leaves and red spots. The other tree is fine. Also my neighbor’s peaches are fine and she does not spray at all. I think if it was a contagious disease then it will be all over the different trees. I looked into internet images and it seems like nitrogen deficiency has very similar symptoms. Also it might be the deficiency in micronutrients as well. Then they say that the nitrogen deficiency may be caused by the tree stress such as canker, root problems etc. I am going to give the tree the good dose of fertilizer and hope that it will outgrow the problems.

Yeah it looks like bacterial spot, just keep up the copper in the spring. Ironic as PF trees are resistant, I had it bad and I have no idea what did it? But I don’t have any trace of it anymore. One way to fight this is to feed the soil. If you can fill the are with good bacteria they fill all available niches. Having a loose high in organic matter soil tends to be too airy for the anaerobes. I do feed mine Tree Tone which has bacteria and fungi, maybe that worked for me?? I also use a number of fungicides for brown rot etc, so who knows? Olpea uses antibiotics, another option if you can get them without a license?


As Drew mentioned, I do indeed have issues with bacterial spot at the farm and have sprayed mycoshield which helps considerably.

That said, the spots I see on your pics aren’t a bad enough case for me to worry about. I’ve seen whole trees completely defoliated by bac. spot. A few yellow leaves is no big deal to me. Every time I go through with an airblast sprayer, it blows some yellow leaves off pretty much all the trees.

However, peach trees constantly put on so much new foliage it doesn’t matter. In fact, in many cases, too much foliage is the problem. We pruned many of our trees back to nothing a month ago, and now many of them have packed new foliage again, which needs needs to be cleared out some, or the foliage beneath it will be too shaded. We’ve had too much rain here (again) and the trees are growing too fast.


I have a question about that Olpea. I have kinda the same problem, where I think I need to remove some more but wondered if I shouldn’t wait until more real summertime type weather. I know we’re going into a stretch of about a week of potential rain, and it scares me to think about pruning anything just now. I have a few peaches on my Redhaven & Madison that I wanted to keep but are getting shaded out. How often/when do you ordinarily prune your average peach trees?


I made some grafts and it was so hard to cut large branches off full of fruit. Once down, the fruit that was shaded a lot is now in the sun. I didn’t really realize how much it grew. Funny Olpea mentions this problem, It is a Spice Zee Nectaplum, and I must say the most beautiful foliage I have seen on a peach. I don’t think you can capture it with a photo, plus now it looks bare!
I have had other peach trees NOT do this!? I guess a result of the tree not growing as well for whatever reason?
If a tree is lacking trace minerals or some type of deficiency, it weakens the immune system. Mine were showing a deficiency when bacterial spot was bad. So feeding them for sure is a good idea. As Olpea mentioned, it’s not a very bad infection, you should be able to easily push it down.

I wonder if a liquid fert might work better ? It probably works faster. I think i’m seeing some spot with my hybrid plum.

Sean, the 5 days of rain shortly after leaf will inevitably lead to some bacterial spot in some varieties. Also, peaches defoliate some early leaves as a matter of course- I used to think it was Captan but they do it even without it. I never concern myself about a bit of cosmetic damage if trees are growing with good vigor, and peaches are only beginning to show vigor here now.

Peaches take longer to get going than other species- maybe because they are incapable of storing much N over winter. I’ve noticed that they don’t seem to respond much to fall apps of it.


Good to know! The plum in the nectaplum must make it so vigorous compared to my other trees.Whatever it is, an impressive tree! Fruit is just OK, I plan to graft over most of it. I’ll keep a scaffold. It will make a great rootstock :smiley:

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This makes a lot of sense to me - I’ve had trees with that spotting and they were planted in an area that gets a lot of standing water, with poor drainage and poor soil, where a tennis court used to be

I initially had plans to put in a lot more trees there, as the area is sunny, but one by one they’ve died off

Only two left in that area and I won’t put any new ones there


We have storms looking like they are starting to move in here now. Like you, we have rain forecasted all week :confounded:

Some people wait till dry weather to prune. Honestly, I prune peach trees when I see they need it and I have time. The only times I am going to quit pruning is pruning young peach trees in late fall or before it wakes up in the spring. I’ve lost young peach trees by pruning them too aggressively going into winter and they don’t survive. I lost another one last winter.

Another thing I’m going to try to do less of, is prune bearing peach trees while there is a chance of frost in the spring. I’ve read it makes the blooms/fruitlets more sensitive to frost, and I think I saw some of that with some trees I pruned this spring. If I need to prune in the spring I’m going to try to prune the really tough varieties (like Madison, Contender, ect.)

Beyond that I just prune whenever. Our trees seem to have more than enough vigor (nothing I do, it’s just that we get lots of rain, have good soil, long summers, and the trees are in raised plantings) so if I’m making mistakes, the trees seem to forgive me.

I do know canker is a pretty big deal in colder areas and I’ve read folks growing peaches in colder areas have to be more careful about it, so some of them don’t prune peaches in the fall at all.

Bacterial spot is such an issue for us. It definitely helps to keep some of the foliage thinned out. It dries faster and it doesn’t continually wash the innoculum down on the lower foliage when it rains. Plus perhaps the greater sunlight on the upper foliage is more apt to kill the bacteria, I don’t know.

Hmmm. Well water saturation could be an issue. These are the 2 trees at the bottom of my retaining wall planters. The planters are 8ft diameter circles, 3 in total, staggered down a hill side. The 2 trees are at the bottom circle and at the back end. If the soil gets saturated enough and can’t drain properly i guess i could see this being the area water would go to. Although i would assume the concrete block would allow it to wick away and not stay trapped.

Now clay… nope. It’s a 3.5ft build up of black dirt.