Redhaven peach woes

Hello all! I’m in zone 6b, MA. I’ve been reading posts here for a few years now but never created an account before. My daughter really wanted to add to our existing raspberry and blueberry bushes so she helped pick out and plant a peach, plum, and Asian pear tree in spring of 2023.

All looked really healthy leading into winter. It’s started to warm up nicely here in New England and everything has been coming back to life. The plum and pear have been putting on lots of healthy growth, but we noticed some issues with the peach (redhaven dwarf) and I’d be appreciative of any help!

The nursery we bought it from has told us to rip it out, but before I do that, I want to make sure that’s the right course of action. I’ve attached a few pictures.

What first alerted me of an issue was some oozing amber sap in two locations on some of the older branches. I didn’t see any mechanical or borer damage, but I really should wear my glasses outside. :grin: none of the pruning cuts I’ve made to the tree show signs of oozing or canker.

On top of the oozing, there’s one large canker on a branch that’s easily removable. There are also what looks like a handful of smaller ones including the one at the branch crotch in one of the attached pictures.

The bark on all the new growth seems to be spotted. I’ve never seen that on any plants before and I’m having a hard time figuring out if it’s indicative of a particular ailment.

The tree did flower earlier this spring and is leafing out. All the leaves look healthy to me. All other fruit trees I’ve had drop petals and start looking cleaner. I can’t tell if the flowers dried up because of disease or if it’s part of peach fruit set (I read about fruit set and shucks on peaches). I’ve also noticed a few instances of growing branch tips seemingly dying back.

I realize this is a long first post, so thank you for reading. Looking forward to any wisdom you fine folks can impart. Hopefully I can return the favour to others one day!

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The second photo I can say is the only possibly concerning photo to me. Peaches will ooze that sap to heal any wound so the others could have just been a little bark damage from any number of things, including borer damage. How does the trunk look? I personally wouldn’t rip the tree out from anything I can definitely see on these photos, but I could be wrong. The second photo could be bacterial canker but before removing the tree I’d simply remove that affected limb and take it off the property. Someone else could recommend a bacterial/fungal spray as I’ve been lucky so far and have yet to incorporate that into my stone fruit regiment. I personally see no reasons to panic


Yeah don’t panic. It is discouraging to see the cankers. Remove the one you said would be easy to remove and maybe the dead tips which could be blossom blight ( a form of brown rot). Lime sulfur or copper can be used. These are most effective at end of season and again before start of season where you can use high doses. If you use any fungicides always spray bad looking areas. I have a peach that had a very nasty canker low on the trunk, a huge hole was there. Every spring and fall I sprayed with copper or lime sulfur. Also during season with other fungicides I used for brown rot I hit that canker. It took five years but now at 10th leaf the canker is completely gone, the hole is gone. You can’t even tell one was there. So just keep treating. It should produce fine fruit.


I think I need to flow your practice n this Frost peach if it survives what oks Ike a bad case of PLC. Also has some dieback similar to above examples
Kent wa

PLC I think? Frost is supposed to be resistant so I have not treated this tree, but now it’s clear I need to

Thanks so much for the response! The gummy looking part of the fourth picture was a bubble of amber sap that I had wiped away to check for mechanical damage. It was much less sticky to the touch than I expected. It’s oozing there and has made a bubble again.

Other than that, I’ve found another very small branch over the weekend that’s also beginning to ooze. It’s been really wet here in New England over the winter/spring, so perhaps that’s part of the problem? I’ve pulled away some soil to expose more of the root flare. Seems I had it planted about an inch too deep.

You asked about the trunk - seems fine to me. Here’s a close up:

And another picture of the trunk in its entirety:

Much appreciated, Drew!

The weather forecast calls for a ton of rain through the weekend, so as soon as it dries up, I’ll plan to thin the branch with the large canker entirely.

I’m less certain about the growing tips. Every single growing tip on the tree looks like this or like what you saw in the first picture of my original post:

They’re all spotted and none of them look like tender, happy green new growth. Should I make heading cuts to remove all the growing tips given they all look like this throughout the tree?

Finally, for the fungicides, I’ll definitely start treating in the fall. I definitely have some chlorothalonil or copper (can’t remember) left over from treating some roses for black spot last year. For use during the growing season, do you spray just the affected areas or the entire tree? Is there something different from copper/lime sulfur that I should use during the current growing season?

Super awesome to hear about the canker on your peach tree! Glad to hear of that success. And thanks again for the encouragement and the helpful response! :slight_smile:

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Looks like peach leaf curl at the tips. Nothing much can be done. Not sure if you should do anything? As far as other fungicides yes once you have fruit to protect it from brown rot you need to use Infuse by Bonide. I also use Fruit Tree and Plant Guard for brown rot. It also though has an insecticide. Which some don’t like but I do as I have to stop the PC beetle too. It takes about five years for all pests to find your trees but they will!! Peaches is about as hard to grow as it gets. It’s tough protecting them.

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The nursery people told you to rip it out?!!
So they can sell you a new peach tree would be my guess.

Canker is very common on peach trees. For the most part, keep the tree healthy, it will heal and overcome canker. Do not over water. Peach trees hate wet feet. (can’t stop the rain, though).

Growing peaches and nectarines in the east coast is not the first trees I would recommend. They are a lot of work and need spraying to get fruit. Too late to do anything for Peach Leaf Curl issue.

Read up on peach problems on this site, you can get yourself ready that way.

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on the bright side, Redhaven is considered to be tolerant of peach leaf curl, in fact there is some research findings that show red haven derived varieties exhibit tolerance/resistant to peach leaf curl. The tree looks like going to come out okay.


Some good advice on this thread already but I will add my experience too and a couple things you might try. I had similar cankers (but a much, much heavier infection) on my peaches, apricot and plum and assumed it was fungal but it turned out to be bacterial. Copper is about the only thing that will do anything to slow down bacterial canker

Spray copper at the maximum strength with a lot of sticker end of fall and again in late winter / early spring. You can also take cheap waterbased latex paint and mix in some copper and paint the trunk and main branches to hold the copper on the tree. I had to carve out areas of infection on my apricot and plum but the peaches bounced back quickly and didn’t need any surgery

Good luck!

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OP, I’d clean up what you can and leave the tree. If it does not produce over time, pull it. I got a super sickly white peach that I planted too close to the road. It must pick up salt in the winter. Even so it produces great. Once it does not produce, then it can be removed. Let the tree tell you when to pull, generally speaking.

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Thanks again, everyone! I appreciate each and every one of you!

You’re 100% right. I’ve been keeping a close eye on the tree and now that it’s leafing out more, it definitely has a few leaves with peach leaf curl.

To be fair, the nursery made the suggestion to rip it out and right away issued credit saying it fell within their guarantee. This was all via email. I wrote back mentioning that I’d prefer to save the tree if possible and they said they’d check in with their product line manager. I just heard back from them a couple days ago and they suggested I try using Bonide Revitalize, ensuring the root flare is visible to help keep the tree drier, prune out the canker, and that the wet weather over the last 9 months was probably to blame.

I’d certainly read that and am prepared to work for the fruit. The previous owners of our house had a lot of ornamentals that required a lot of pruning to open up the centers along with regular pruning and care giving. We figured if we’re going to do the work anyway, we might as well get some fruit out of it and adjust the yard bit by bit. We started with blueberries and raspberries 5 or 6 years ago and haven’t had any major issues other than one blueberry that gets mowed down by rabbits every time it tries to grow.

Regarding the difficulty of peaches… I think I actually read some of your posts talking about peaches in MA. We’re probably no more than an hour drive away from each other. Your posts on preferred Asian pears in MA helped me settle on Korean giant and Kosui! Thanks for sharing all that info!

The tree was super healthy and put a lot of growth on last summer. In retrospect, I probably should have done more summer pruning to keep the tree open. I won’t miss that this year.

The peach tree was a special request from my daughter who, while still in preschool, is an avid gardener and fruit connoisseur. She helped me put in many of the blueberry and raspberry bushes over the last two years and when I told her I was going to put some fruit trees in last year, she made a special request for peaches!

This year, she asked if we could add an apricot tree. That one I’m holding off on for now. :grin:

I’ll continue to do so for sure, thanks! The information here has been super helpful over the last few years.

Thanks for the positivity. I think so, too! The information from everyone in the thread has been super helpful.

Makes sense, thanks! Now that I have a better idea of what is impacting the tree, I can prepare for it!

I love this. You’re totally right. Despite the warning signs in my earlier posts, the tree is leafing out beautifully. The shucks are starting to fall off and there’s a ton of fruit set! Now to figure out how to protect them from the squirrels. And the bugs. And the diseases. And alien abduction…


Apricot has its negative and positive.

It can just die on you. People said it could be a pn issue with roots and rootstocks. I have mine on a Manchurian rootstock. So far, so good.

It often blooms earliest among fruit trees making it vulnerable for late freeze. If you can plant it where it can wake up later, it could work. Your area may have more stable temp than mine which will help.

Tree-ripened apricots taste far superior to store bought. I have bought apricot from many sources including Middle Eastern grocery stores. None of those apricots tasted anywhere as good as growing your own.
I can buy tree-ripened peaches from a local farm if I want but no farm around here grow apricots.

All in all, growing apricots is really worth it. Aside from late freeze, they ripen early enough that brown rot is not as big an issue as with peaches and pests often skip these fruit and go after peaches instead.

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