Peach tree woes

Please look at these pics. This is a peach tree I planted 3 years ago. Last year it had a touch of what appeared to be leaf curl, and the damage was minimal. This year, the tree appears to be all but dead:
http://zootal.no-ip.info/stuff/2009/2009MayDiseasedPeachTree/images/DSCF5405.JPG
http://zootal.no-ip.info/stuff/2009/2009MayDiseasedPeachTree/images/DSCF5408.JPG
http://zootal.no-ip.info/stuff/2009/2009MayDiseasedPeachTree/images/DSCF5409.JPG
Is there any reason to not just remove the tree now? Is it possible that it can survive?
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http://zootal.no-ip.info/stuff/2009/2009MayDiseasedPeachTree/images/DSCF5405.JPG
Poor thing looks very neglected/abused, it's never been pruned... but for sure someone hit it with a dose of defoliant of some sort, maybe a good blast of over spray. Even if it lives it'll never give a decent crop. Why do foks plant in such unprotected places, on land that makes a junk yard appear aesthetic, and then expect their plants to thrive let alone live... it's very likley been planted in contamintaed soil, I bet Super Fund land. That property looks absolutely disgusting.. it's best that poor tree dies a quick death. Do NOT plant anything else there, except you!
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Did I mention that my property used to be a storage site for radioactive waste? I put this tree right over a green glowing spot. I figured the extra light would be good for it...
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You want mostly red or blue light for plants.
Tree looks to me like it wants potassium. Either it's not available, or the roots (and maybe trunk) are having trouble taking it up. I'd guess the tree was either overwatered or it's been eaten by borers -- look for six or seven very neatly spaced tunnels where the trunk breaks in half.
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Ay carumba. Vαmonos muchachos.
Your kinda far south for Hanford.
--

- Billy
"For the first time in the history of the world, every human being
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Sorry about that, apparently Shelly got off his leash. He hasn't been well, you know. He's probably off to chew on a chair leg now.
I'm sure that what our sick little boy was trying to say is, "It looks bad. Isn't there a nursery (Crescent City isn't it?) near you to help with the diagnosis? How warm has it gotten there? What is the soil like (wet, dry?). The tree next to it seems to be doing OK, what kind is it? Have you given the tree a good side dose of aged manure? (Work in with a rake.)
--

- Billy
"For the first time in the history of the world, every human being
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:-)
Winter was not especially cold - no hard freezes this year, the usual amount of rain (meaning lots and lots of rain). Spring rains stopped early this year, we have had two weeks of dry and sun, and no rain in the forecast. This is the time of the year when the rains stop, usually within a week or less, and the sun comes out to stay. Nights are in 50s, maybe dipping into 40s, daytime temp is 60s and 70s. A couple of upper 70s/lower 80 days, but not too many. So, the soil has been quite wet but is now drying. I planted 40 tomatoes outside yesterday, and am seriously considering putting out peppers and eggplants as the forecast is for sun and warm for at least the next week.
The tree to the right of it in the pic is a cherry tree that seems to be happy. All of my other peaches have a mild case of what appears to be peach leaf curl, which isn't unusual this time of year, but none of them have ever had it this bad. My apples hare happy, my pears grow like crazy here. And I have a truck load of mushroom compost that I'm going to put down around all of my trees this week.
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Actually, the overgrown land in the pic is the lot behind me, which I do not own. Mine is work in progress, but it's at least a but tidier :). My pear and apple trees are very happy, and I have a moderate veggie garden in the middle of it all that for the most part does quite well. The soil is rich and well drained.

It has the appearance of peach leaf curl, as the peach tree next to the one pictured has it too, but only a mild case. The one I took the pics of had a very mild case of it last year, and it quickly grew out and was quite vigorous. That is what surprises me - it did so well last year.
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On 5/24/2009 12:24 PM, Zootal wrote:

http://zootal.no-ip.info/stuff/2009/2009MayDiseasedPeachTree/images/DSCF5405.JPG
http://zootal.no-ip.info/stuff/2009/2009MayDiseasedPeachTree/images/DSCF5408.JPG
http://zootal.no-ip.info/stuff/2009/2009MayDiseasedPeachTree/images/DSCF5409.JPG
It might indeed survive this year into next; but if this happens again, it will no longer survive.
Early next year, prune it. If you don't get snow in the winter, prune it January. If you do get snow, prune it as soon as you think there will be no more snow. Go to a good nursery or your public library and look at a book on pruning trees. Peaches thrive on very heavy pruning.
As soon as you finish pruning, spray the entire tree with copper sulfate. You might even use a mixture of copper sulfate and dormant oil. To ensure proper spreading and sticking of the spray, add some liquid soap to the mix. Be sure to coat all of the smaller branches and twigs and all growth and flower buds.
Watch the tree carefully. As soon as flower buds swell and show a bit of color (dark pink, almost red), spray again with the same mix. This should be done before any flowers open and any leaves appear. Not only will such timing reduce the likelihood of leaf curl, shot hole, and brown rot, but it will also reduce any impact on the bees that will visit the flowers to pollinate them and thus create fruit.
For either the first or second spraying, if it rains within 48 hours after spraying, spray again (but not after the tree starts to flower or leaf-out, when it will be too late).
No, the spray is NOT natural or organic. You are trying to grow something -- a hybridized plant -- that is not found in nature, possibly in an area where its natural ancestors would never have grown. When you grow unnatural plants in an environment that is unnatural for their ancestors, you must expect to use some unnatural methods.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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On 5/24/2009 6:13 PM, David E. Ross wrote:

By the way, because of the weakened condition of the tree, you should remove any immature fruit you can find, both this year and next.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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Will do, many tnx for information. <sigh> Wish me luck...
Is there anything I can do now other then weed and water it?
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On 5/24/2009 8:43 PM, Zootal wrote:

It's not too late to feed it. Lightly broadcast some generic lawn food under its branch spread, keeping the fertilizer away from the trunk itself.
One other problem afflicting peach trees is the flat-headed borer. This bores under the bark in the trunk and larger branches. The bark then blisters up and eventually peels away. While some sprays are recommended as preventatives, I've found them to be on;y partially effective. Borers have contributed to the decline of my own peach tree.
However, peach trees are not very long-lived, so the borers are not the only cause of my tree's decline. Commercial growers often remove and replace their trees after about 15 years. I decided to have mine removed as soon as the current crop has ripened and been eaten. I'll have the stump ground out in a way that allows me to plant a new peach tree in the same spot. That will be the third peach I've had in that location since I planted my first 35 years ago. I plant to investigate whether imidacloprid -- a systemic used as a soil drench -- would be effective against flat-headed borers and, if so, when to apply it.
(Note: Imidacloprid is a problem for bees in only two instances. It should not be used before flowering as it might make nectar toxic. Also during flowering, it should not be applied through irrigation systems where bees might drink. I would instead apply it as a drench that soaks into the soil within a minute or two, leaving nothing for the bees to drink. It is safe for use on food plants used by mammals, including humans.)
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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I still think you should take a couple of leaves and your pictures to the nearest reputable nursery, and see if they can figure out your problem.

My peaches are the dwarf variety, and they rarely get pruned, and they do well. Maybe I'm just the exception.

I didn't find any information on peach hybrids. Peaches appear to br the result of standard selection for traits. Anyone have different information?
The dormant spray doesn't sound too scary. http://www.allwoodwork.com/tips/dormantoilspray.htm Dormant Oil Spray From GardenGuides.com Dormant oil is a nontoxic spray to control sucking and chewing insects in the egg stage before they can do any damage. Use dormant oil on trees, shrubs and evergreens in early spring while they are still dormant, before buds develop. You can buy the spray from any garden supply store or make your own from mineral oil and soap using the following recipe: 1 gallon mineral oil 1 pound oil-based soap 1/2 gallon water Combine all ingredients, boil, and mix very well. Dilute 1:20 with water and use immediately because the ingredients separate quickly. Spray on a day when the temperature is above 40 degrees and you are not expecting a freeze for at least 24 hours. Drench the branches of your shrubs and trees thoroughly - it's impossible to overdo it. For citrus trees, you should buy a special dormant oil from your garden supply store. Citrus leaves can be damaged by the film that remains on the leaves.
The copper sulfate could be tricky. Don't spray when there are bee around. Keep away from ponds and water ways. http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/carbaryl-dicrotophos/copper -sulfate-ext.html
I still suggest that you consult with a college Ag Department, a Mater Gardener, or a competent nursery before you start shot gunning a problem that you may make worse through ignorance.
--

- Billy
"For the first time in the history of the world, every human being
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I think it is leaf curl and/or fire blight. Mine are dead too. sheesh. Ingrid
wrote:

Somewhere between zone 5 and 6 tucked along the shore of Lake Michigan on the council grounds of the Fox, Mascouten, Potawatomi, and Winnebago
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http://zootal.no-ip.info/stuff/2009/2009MayDiseasedPeachTree/images/D...http://zootal.no-ip.info/stuff/2009/2009MayDiseasedPeachTree/images/D...http://zootal.no-ip.info/stuff/2009/2009MayDiseasedPeachTree/images/D ...
Zoo It is definitely Peach Leaf Curl. Photo 3 shows the twisted, deformed, curled light colored leaves that look blistered. This was a bad year for PLC here in Butte county too. Things started off OK then we had a late rain which just aggravated the condition. My dwarf Babcock Peach has had many infestations in its 23 years, and has survived so far.
Be sure to rake up all the foliage that falls on the ground, keep it cleaned up until its all fallen off. You can even remove some of it by hand if you wish. DO NOT compost it, get it into the trash bin and removed. Broadcast and then water in Epsom Salts. (next year do this at the time its blooming) Then give it a good spreading of alfalfa pellets and water them in. Mulch the tree well. (again do this every spring)
I think the tree will recover, but it will take awhile. I don't think much fruit will develop, but Yes, I'd remove any that does. Next Fall, rake up all leaves, and get rid of them completely. Some peaches are more resistant to PLC than others. Do look for borer holes, since they are more likely to attack a weakened tree. If you find holes, run a wire down inside to kill any larva inside. Check every so often all summer.
Good luck Emilie NorCal
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