Gall, canker, and rot aren’t pretty words and not so satisfying to think of, but they’re words you need to know when growing an orchard, or even a few fruit trees in the backyard. These terms are involved with common nectarine diseases but are problems on other fruit trees as well.
Diseases of Nectarine Trees
Nectarine disease symptoms may not be readily apparent, and you may have to do some serious observation to locate diseases of nectarines. Others are visually evident and not hard to identify. If your nectarine tree is looking or performing differently than in years past, take note.
It is not always evident that your nectarine tree has a disease. Perhaps the tree no longer looks healthy and vibrant. Leaves are smaller, and fruit doesn’t develop as quickly as in previous years. You remember that you missed the fungicide treatment in winter but didn’t expect such severe results. Maybe you notice the leaves curling unusually.
Here are some of the most common problems along with their nectarine disease treatment recommendations:
Bacterial canker – Bacterial canker causes severe loss of fruit and even the entire tree. A gummy substance exudes from the trunk and branches, often from the tips. Damaged limbs are most susceptible in windy and rainy weather. New growth on branches wilts, turns brown and dies from the tip. Avoid winter pruning; prune after harvest. Treat with a copper bactericide for this and bacterial spot. Try to avoid damaging the tree with mechanical equipment. While you don’t have control of the weather, you can inspect your trees closely following wind and hail storms.
Brown rot/Blossom blight – Brown rot and blossom blight cause brown spots on leaves and blooms of the nectarine. These diseases are most active following a wet season and occur when buds are open. Wet buds can develop this blossom blight in 6 to 7 hours when temperatures are 45 F. (7 C.) or lower. Treat with a fungicide or insecticide. Learn the proper time for treating a sick nectarine tree in your situation.
Keep watch on your nectarine trees and follow up when you see a potential problem. Provide proper soil drainage and prune at the right time. Plant disease-resistant nursery stock and apply protective sprays at the proper time. Nectarine disease treatment helps keep your nectarine tree healthy for a productive harvest.