Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - June 12, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pests, Trees
Title: Apparent disease in peach tree in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a peach tree that the leaves are "bleeding" out on. The leaves are continuing to get paler and paler. There are no peaches on the tree this year either. What can I do?

ANSWER:

Peaches, plums, cherries and almonds are all "stone fruits" in the genus Prunus, which means they are all susceptible to many of the same diseases and pests. Unfortunately, most of the research materials we could find were for commercial orchard management, rather than the back yard peach tree. Without knowing more about the symptoms your tree has been showing, we can't say what is causing it and what controls might be useful. Some of the disease problems are really scary, and control is listed as "destroying all the trees in the neighborhood of the affected tree." Most members of the Prunus genus have been so extensively hybridized for cultivation that just diagnosing a problem is difficult. If the only symptom were the leaves losing their color, we would blame chlorosis, or the lack of iron in the soil, or the lack of accessibility of trace elements in the soil. Poor drainage around the roots frequently contributes to this problem, and can sometimes be alleviated by the introduction of more organic material, like compost, into the soil around the roots. Unfortunately, the fact that your tree bore no fruit this year indicates that the problem is of some duration. We have collected several websites on pests and diseases in peaches, as well as other members of their genus. We suggest you read through them and see if any of the symptoms match the problems your tree is having. We recommend that you go to the website of AgriLIFE Extension Service of Texas A&M, Travis County and either follow weblinks or find the contact numbers. They would be more likely to be aware of local pest and disease problems, and possibly have information that will help you.

USDA Agriculture Research Service on biocontrols of peach diseases.

Texas Cooperative Extension, Pests of Peaches, Plums and Pecans

Clemson University Education Peach Disease Management

 

More Trees Questions

Conditions for growing Prunus mexicana
March 23, 2007 - Will a native Wild Plum do well in the Cat Spring area west of Houston. The soil is quite sandy. I was told that the plum trees attract deer.
view the full question and answer

How Do Persimmons Breed - Starkville, MS
August 14, 2012 - Thank you for your earlier response about the genders of native persimmon trees. We have two, a much larger one that has borne fruit for years and years and a smaller one that I'd just assumed was m...
view the full question and answer

Need a shade tree for front yard in Fredricksburg, TX.
July 16, 2012 - I live in Fredericksburg, Tx. I have a large front yard, but only one huge pecan tree in the front yard that is probably 18 years old. It shades half the yard. I want to plant another shade tree for t...
view the full question and answer

Eco-friendly trees for parks in Brownsville, TX
April 26, 2008 - Which are the best eco friendly trees for parks?
view the full question and answer

Shade tree for Southern California
November 14, 2013 - I had to cut down my huge ficus tree for several reasons, however it provided lots of shade, that we miss. Can you help me find a good shade tree with non-invasive roots that is good for growing and p...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.