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I just found black spots on some of the peaches on my peach tree. I cut one peach open and the pit split in half really easily and there were small redish and black spots in the pit. I was wondering what are they, and if there's anything I can do about it?

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A

It sounds like you have a couple of different problems with your peach tree.  Without actually seeing the peaches myself I can only make an educated guess.  The spots on the peaches could be coryneum blight, also called shothole disease.  This is more common on apricots but is also seen on peach trees.  It is a fungal infection.  You should completely remove all the fallen leaves this fall.  Then spray your tree thoroughly with a fungicide like Bordeaux mixture, fixed copper sulfate, captan or ziram.  Also check the twigs and branches carefully for any bark lesions that have a reddish or purple margin around the canker.  This twigs must be pruned out.  Do not leave the prunings under the tree- discard them.

The split pit can be related to the variety of peach (some are more prone to it than others) or to summer heat and moisture stress.  Once the pit splits, fungal growth around the split pit can cause the spots that you are seeing.  Make sure you water your tree very deeply about once every one to two weeks, depending on the weather.  Avoid watering frequently.  Fruit trees do not tolerate frequent watering very well.

Posted on 17 Aug 2007

Adrian Hinton
Horticulture Agent, Utah County

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