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Pest & Disease Control for Nectarine Trees

Every fruit tree has the future potential for disease and insect damage. Factors such as location and weather will play a part in which issues your tree encounters. Disease-resistant trees are the best option for easy care; and for all trees, proper maintenance (such as watering, fertilizing, pruning, spraying, weeding, and fall cleanup) can help keep most insects and diseases at bay.

NOTE: This is part 6 in a series of 10 articles. For a complete background on how to grow nectarine trees, we recommend starting from the beginning.

Crown Gall

Trees appear stunted and slow growing; leaves may be reduced in size, little or no fruit. If tree is dead, inspect roots for hard, woody ‘tumors’. Note: many things can cause stunted trees.

Control

  • Consult County Extension Agent

Bacterial Canker

Appears on branches and trunk as gummy cankers and water-soaked areas. Fruit develops dark, deeply sunken areas, causing them to be more likely to get ‘Brown Rot’. Cool, wet weather after blooming favors development.

Control

  • Consult County Extension Agent

Scale

Usually on bark of young twigs and branches, encrusted with small (1/16”) hard, circular, scaly raised bumps with yellow centers, may also be on fruit. Sap feeding weakens the tree.

Natural Control

  • Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray

Chemical Control

  • GardenTech® Sevin® Concentrate Bug Killer
  • Bayer Advanced™ Complete Insect Killer

Tarnished Plant Bug

Yellow-brown winged insect may have black spot or red stripes. Injects toxins into the buds and shoots causing ‘dwarfed’ shoots and sunken areas (cat facing) on fruit.

Natural Control

  • Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray

Leafroller

Pale yellow or ‘dirty’ green worms. Leaves are rolled and webbed together where insects feed. Eventually becomes skeletonized.

Natural Control

  • Bonide® Captain Jack’s™ Deadbug Brew
  • Bonide® Thuricide® Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT)

Chemical Control

  • GardenTech® Sevin® Concentrate Bug Killer
  • Bayer Advanced™ Complete Insect Killer

Aphids

They are the size of a pinhead and vary in color depending on the species. Clusters on stems and under leaves, sucking plant juices. Leaves then curl, thicken, yellow and die. Produce large amounts of a liquid waste called “honeydew”. Aphid sticky residue becomes a growth media for sooty mold.

Natural Control

  • Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray

Chemical Control

  • GardenTech® Sevin® Concentrate Bug Killer
  • Bayer Advanced™ Complete Insect Killer

Brown Rot

Fruit turns brownish with lighter spots. Quickly becomes soft, rotten and unusable.

Natural Control

  • Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray

Chemical Control

  • Bonide® Fung-onil™ Fungicide
  • Bonide® Captan Fruit & Ornamental

Leaf Curl

Leaves become thickened, puckered and twisted with a reddish-purple color along puckered areas. Turn yellow and drop, may completely defoliate and causes weakening of tree. Any remaining dead leaves should be removed in the fall and all debris removed from the area.

Chemical Control

  • Bonide® Fung-onil™ Fungicide

Plum Curculio

Adult is brownish-gray 1/5” long, hard-shelled beetle with long snout and 4 humps on back. Cuts a crescent shaped hole under the fruit skins and lays eggs. Worms hatch and tunnel into fruit. Premature dropping of fruit can occur.

Control

  • Consult County Extension Agent

Oriental Fruit Moth

Gray moth, 1/2” long. Larvae are white with a brown head, 1/2” long. Larvae burrow into twigs and fruits.

Chemical Control

  • Bayer Advanced™ Complete Insect Killer

Bacterial Leaf Spot

Black or brown spots appear on underside of leaves. Often the center falls out leaving a hole with a red halo. Leaves may turn yellow and fall. Fruits also get spots, sunken areas and cracks.

Natural Control

  • Serenade® Garden Disease Control

Scab

Spots on young leaves are velvety and olive green turns black; leaves wither, curl and drop. Fruit also has spots, is deformed, knotty, cracked and drops.

Natural Control

  • Serenade® Garden Disease Control
  • Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray

Chemical Control

  • Bonide® Fung-onil™ Fungicide
  • Bonide® Captan Fruit & Ornamental

Rose Chafer

Beetle has 1/2” long, tan wings with reddish-brown edges. Long, thin hairy legs. Skeletonizes leaves and flowers. Present in large quantities in June and July. Worst on sandy sites near grassy areas.

Chemical Control

  • Bayer Advanced™ Complete Insect Killer

Mites

Pinpoint size, many different colors. Found on undersides of leaves. Sap feeding causes bronzing of leaves. Severe infestations have some silken webbing.

Natural Control

  • Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray

Chemical Control

  • GardenTech® Sevin® Concentrate Bug Killer
  • Bayer Advanced™ Complete Insect Killer

Borers

Appears as a thick, gummy substance (sap) leaking from round holes on the trunk or in a crotch of the tree. Worms with brown heads and cream-colored bodies tunnel thru trunks that will kill the tree. Once infested, use a fine wire to try to mash or dig them out.

Natural Control

  • Bonide® Captain Jack’s™ Deadbug Brew
  • Use a fine wire to try and mash or dig them out.

Chemical Control

  • GardenTech® Sevin® Concentrate Bug Killer
  • Bayer Advanced™ Complete Insect Killer

Japanese Beetle

Adult is a metallic green beetle, which skeletonizes leaves. Larvae are a grub, which feeds on turf roots. Check turf product labels for timing of control of grubs. This is more of a problem east of the Mississippi river.

Natural Control

  • Bonide® Captain Jack’s™ Deadbug Brew
  • Traps

Chemical Control

  • Bayer Advanced™ Complete Insect Killer

Powdery Mildew

Whitish-gray powdery mold or felt like patches on buds, young leaves and twigs. Leaves may crinkle and curl upward. New shoots are stunted. Over winters in fallen leaves.

Natural Control

  • Serenade® Garden Disease Control
  • Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray

Shothole

Small reddish-purple spots appear on young leaves then enlarge and eventually dropping out of the leaf blade leaving a “shot hole.” It appears on fruit, usually in clustered as light brown spots or lesions with dark purple margins.

Chemical Control

  • Bonide® Fung-onil™ Fungicide
  • Bonide® Captan Fruit & Ornamental

Tent Caterpillar

Hairy caterpillars that enclose large areas in webbing and feed on enclosed leaves. Remove web with rake and burn. Caterpillars are pulled out with webs.

Natural Control

  • Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray
  • Bonide® Thuricide® Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT)

Chemical Control

  • Bonide® Total Pest Control

Red-humped Caterpillar

Fully-grown caterpillars can be up to 1½ inch long. They have a brick red hump on its back, red head and red stripes along its body. They feed on leaves. Caterpillars form cocoons in plant liter on the ground, emerging moths are grayish-brown with a wingspan of 1 to 1½ inches. Lay eggs in groups on underside of leaves.

Natural Control

  • Bonide® Thuricide® Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT)
NEXT: Pruning Nectarine Trees
Previous: Fertilizing Nectarine Trees