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

Pruning technique for Anacacho Orchid from Austin
May 18, 2011 - I have an Anacacho Orchid tree that is about 8 ft tall and still young. It is doing quite well. I have never pruned it, but lately I have been considering it as some of the top branches are starting t...
view the full question and answer

Viability of Desert Willow in clay soil in Fredericksburg, TX
November 25, 2005 - I have recently purchased a house in a new subdivision in Fredericksburg, TX. The lot was not landscaped. I have a small lot (85 X 135), my back yard is about 50 X 85. The soil is a heavy clay. I am c...
view the full question and answer

Brown spots on live oak leaves in Cedar Park, TX.
July 22, 2009 - I have a live oak that was planted 4 years ago. It had several brown spots last summer, but recovered over the winter. Now it has lots of brown leaves and looks very sad. What is the best way to he...
view the full question and answer

Mountain Laurels are dying in Georgetown, TX.
April 02, 2012 - Ten year old Mountain Laurels both last year and this spring have had entire branches turn brown just after blooming this Feb. Round Rock Arborist suggested I contact you. Last year one of my laurels...
view the full question and answer

Dying Bigelow oaks in Austin
July 30, 2010 - I have several stands of Bigelow Oak (Q.sinuata var. breviloba) in NW Austin mixed with Yaupon and Cedar Elms. Several have died each year for the past 8 years. Two now have brown, dry leaves which is...
view the full question and answer

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