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I have a reliance peach tree, 3rd year in the ground, and this year I noticed almost all of the branch tips were black, down about 3 inches. Some of the leaves started to brown spot and turn yellow, eventually falling. Also some of the branched produce fruit, but no foliage, the fruit is very weak and just falls in a light breeze. What can I do to correct this ?
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Your young peach tree could have suffered some winter dieback, especially if a lot of the branch tips are black. It could also have severe iron chlorosis or peach twig borer. If the latter, there are several chemicals you could use including Dipel, Sevin, Ortho Bug-B-Gone, Malathion, Concern Multi-Purpose, Ferti-Lome, Green Light, Natural Guard, or GF-120. A dormant oil spray with insecticide applied when the flower buds are swollen, but not opened is beneficial. The insecticide alone (no dormant oil added) should be applied between June 21 and 26th.
You also mentioned that the leaves are yellowing and turning brown. If the veins are a darker green color, you probably have iron chlorosis. Severe Iron chlorosis will cause the tree to die, starting at the ends of the branches. To correct this, you should watch your watering. In our alkaline clay soils, the water ties up the iron. You should also add chelated iron in the spring at leaf bud swell. By the time all the leaves are full size, adding the iron doesn't do much good.
If you brought in a sample of your branch, we could tell whether it is iron chlorosis, winter damage or twig borer. It does cost $1. and our office is open Mon-Fri 8-5. For further information, you can call us at 851-8462
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