Peach tree advice

My mom has a Redhaven peach tree that’s about 8 years old (from Stark Bros). It is planted in clay and the last two years it has had leaf curl and mold/mildew/pests ruin all of the fruit. I ate a few out of spite anyway, but they were all bad. Many of the fruiting branches for next year are dark/diseased looking so she said she’s had enough and just wants to cut it down.

Should we just keep hitting it with more rounds of copper fungicide (previously done one time each of the last 3 years)? Should I graft another variety on it? What would you all recommend?

I have younger peach trees in my yard and have yet to have such drastic issues so this is new to me but likely something I will face some day.


The tree is your mother’s.Who is going to be the caretaker,through the years?
Dark and diseased branches,almost seem like dead ones.Did Copper help,when it was used,especially with the Peach Leaf Curl?Two to three applications before the leaves start growing,might be better.
Grafting on other varieties,without maintenance,will most likely,end the same way.


I try to grow peaches here… have 3 trees now… (organic, no spray) and well it is mostly just disappointing. Except for those few early peaches that I get that are not infested with OFM, or not rotting on the tree (brown rot). Peaches are one of the most challenging fruits to grow (I think) unless you are OK with spraying a bunch of chemicals on them… I have to pass on that.

If you decide you are going to have to replace the tree and you want to try another peach variety… I would recommend trying one that ripens early, and is known for disease resistance. If you search here you can find some details on that.

There are a lot of other things you can grow, and many that you can grow with no or low spray that are (well not a peach), but still very good. You might find something to replace it with from the post below.

Good Luck.


My parents have been spraying it in the early spring with copper fungicide just once, so I guess the thing to try next is multiple treatments. The copper did help as this past year was just a fraction of the leaf curl as the two prior years, but this past year they got slammed with bugs and brown rot, neither of which were a problem in the previous years. My parents just can’t catch a break. I was kinda hoping someone would have a variety that is just resistant to everything even if they do not taste as “good”/smaller/etc.

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Im gonna spray milk on mine. Im in the same boat brother…im not gonna spray mine with chemicals either…

I searched for that unicorn years ago. It doesn’t exist. With all stone fruit trees you will need to spray several times a year. From my experience copper works some on brown rot, but I would suggest you buy something better.

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Could you post the city/town your Mom lives in?

That can help offering recs. Zone 6 covers a lot of ground in the U.S.

Generally one copper spray will work in most parts of the U.S. Not some much in selected parts of near the west coast.

Depending on locale, peaches can require regular sprays to prevent brown rot and insect damage.

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We’re in St. Louis. Cold winters, hot summers, spring and fall are basically 2 weeks long.:joy:

St. Louis isn’t that far from here (4 hrs). Climate isn’t that different.

I’d recommend chlorothalonil for leaf curl. It comes in all kinds of brand names. Daconil, fungonil, etc.

Keeping rot off the peaches will probably require multiple sprays. Same with internal feeding grubs.

Without knowing what internal feeders you are dealing with, you might start out trying the new Sevin formulation (active ingredient zeta cypermethrin) and follow the label.


Thanks for the recommendations. I’m not a fan of using chemicals beyond fertilizers but if they break down into the soil as inert compounds then maybe I can just let the critters eat all the fruit this year and just focus on getting healthy growth for next year.


Can you find that at Home Depot ect.? Do you know if it works on PC? A lot of people like the mud, but I like the idea of poison better. @Olpea

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We have 3 Red havens and they are very vigorous growers. I have cut back on the nitrogen. Nothing wrong with clay as long as the tree looks happy. Is the tree pruned to an open center? Or filled with upright shoots?

Next spring, hit it with nitrogen and prune out all the dead and upright shoots. Then read up here the spray plans if you go down that path. I spray Triaricide and Captan at petal fall, and every 2 weeks to get a nice crop.

Peach trees grow like weeds if heathy, they make fruit if you spray…


The Home Depot closest to us has it in stock. The active ingredient is the same as Mustang Maxx, which should take care of PC in most situations, as long as there is some residue on the trees during PC season.

Most seasons we don’t rely on Mustang Maxx alone for the PC season. Next to SWD, PC is the hardest insect for us to control. Sometimes we’ll rotate Mustang Maxx with Actara.

But being a commercial orchard, the bar is set pretty high when it comes to tolerance of our customers finding a worm in their fruit. In other words, customers pretty much have a zero tolerance for an occasional worm in their fruit, so we have to hit the fruit with the best options available.

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