If the leaves of your fruit tree start to pucker, it may be due to the frizz disease, what the frizz looks like will be explained in a moment. Strangely deformed leaves can also arise when nibbling insects tamper with your peach tree.


Then the diagnosis shouldn’t be particularly difficult, you just need to take a closer look at your peach tree. Examine the leaves carefully, also and especially the undersides of the leaves, pull up small knobs on the leaves, perhaps these are hiding tiny creatures. The animals can actually always be found, if necessary with a magnifying glass, and then you have a clear diagnosis.

If it curls without animals, it could be the curl disease, but it could also have a few other causes. Here are the characteristics that indicate frizziness:

  • A fairly typical sign of curl disease is when the young green leaves are curling up as early as spring budding
  • At some point these will show light green and / or reddish areas that appear like bubbles.
  • These leaf areas thicken, become wrinkled, the leaves curl up and look really twisted on the whole.
  • Later the diseased leaves turn light green to whitish, in the final stage they look somehow enlarged
  • The leaves then look like they are made of rubber, they are also quite brittle.
  • When the time comes, the leaves will eventually be thrown off.
  • Because of this diverse appearance, the pimple sickness is also known as “vesicular and puckered sickness”.

In addition, ripples can also be caused by all sorts of other leaf spot diseases, by bacteria and viruses, in the worst case even by fire blight, which should then be reported to the responsible plant protection office. Especially when the leaves do not curl up until summer, insects are often at work again, a curl disease in the end stage that was not precisely observed before no longer shows red blisters and is very similar to leaf curling due to insect infestation.

If you have no experience with strange leaf deformations on all kinds of plants in your garden, you should therefore not try to make a diagnosis on your own when in doubt. Especially not if that meant that you would pick up a chemical substance of some kind in order to distribute it into the environment. Unless you have the confirmation from a professional, you should not take action against a supposed frizzy disorder, which could make the problem considerably worse.

The transmission of the frizz disease

The curl disease is caused by a hose fungus called taphrina deformans. This hose fungus feeds exclusively on dead plant material between June and February. At this time it sits as a mycelium on the shoots and in the parts of the plant from which the buds will later be formed. When budding begins, the mycelium breaks down into a multitude of individual fungal cells that are spread out by wind and rain. If you get to a fruit tree that is about to open its buds, the fungus will infect the flower buds and leaves that have not yet unfolded and continue to develop there.

Whether the fungus succeeds in infecting a fruit tree depends on the weather: the fungus needs a good 12 hours of continuous moisture and temperatures below 16 degrees to establish itself. This is why an infestation occurs particularly intensely when winter / spring are very humid. Once the infection has happened there are no countermeasures, the disease will break out during the spring.

Damage from frizziness

If the fruit tree is infected, it produces an increasingly misshapen first shoot in the spring, which is ultimately so damaged that it falls off completely. The fruit tree is now trying to develop a second shoot. This second shoot usually takes place around St. John’s Day on June 24th, at which time even deciduous trees that have been damaged by feeding tend to sprout again, the St. John’s shoot is a well-known phenomenon.

At this time the temperatures are much friendlier, and above 16 degrees the Taphrina deformans is no longer infectious, so the new shoot will be healthy and stay healthy if you have carried out the mechanical control measures recommended below in spring.

A strong, healthy tree recovers quickly, but susceptible peach trees that are generally not able to regenerate well can be weakened, which can result in a reduced number of flowers and fruit in the infestation season and a reduced number of buds in the next year. Even susceptible peach varieties recover under favorable conditions, but if the weather conditions are favorable for the fungus for several years and it cannot be prevented from spreading to the tree by weather protection, it becomes difficult at some point.

If there is a high pressure of infestation in the area, then only a community action by the surrounding gardeners (coordinated by the local plant protection office / municipality) will help; we will come to the measures in question below. If such cannot be initiated, it would be better to prepare yourself to cut down the susceptible peach tree at some point and replace it with a more resilient variety.

Peach varieties resistant to curl disease

The fight against the fungus is complicated, the most elegant solution is definitely to grow a peach variety that is as resistant as possible. Here is an overview of which peach trees are not considered to be very susceptible to curl disease:

  • Prunus persica “Amsden”: The white-fleshed variety can resist infection for a long time, but if it happens it is severely attacked, and the regeneration is moderate. The red-fleshed variety is considered to be hardly susceptible.
  • P. perisica “Benedicte”: Only light to medium infestation and good regeneration
  • P. perisica “Fidelia”: Fidelia is described in several sources as less susceptible, but there are still photos on the internet with severe infestation
  • P. perisica “Formerly Alexander”: Considered to be less susceptible to the curl disease
  • P. perisica “Manon”: Little susceptible, good regenerative capacity
  • P. perisica “Mireille”: Medium resistance, medium regenerative capacity
  • P. perisica “Alfter’s record”: Very resistant to infection, medium regenerative capacity
  • P. perisica “Revita”: Resistant to infestation, good regenerative capacity
  • P. perisica “Roter Ellerstädter” = “Kernechter from the foothills”: Very resistant to infestation, good to medium regeneration

The following varieties are considered to be less resistant or poorly capable of regeneration if an infestation has occurred: “Dixired”, “Formerly Roter Ingelheimer”, “Fusalode”, “Golo”, “Haba Finessa”, “Hermi”, “Melina”, “Michelini” ”,“ Red Haven ”,“ Red Robin ”,“ Stark Delicious ”and“ Seedling Wassenberg ”.

The example with the Fidelia variety shows that the peach tree does not necessarily have to adhere to the forecast. If the infestation pressure is very strong, i.e. a lot of fungal spores are floating around, at some point no peach tree will get away with it. In addition, the breeders are of course constantly trying to reduce the susceptibility of their breeding results to disease – if they proceeded the other way around, i.e. only very resistant breeding results were sold, we would not have the problem at all, but only marginally. So when buying, you should inquire exactly how your selected peach variety is susceptible to disease (this also applies to other diseases).

But before you need to replace your sick peach tree with a frizz-resistant peach, there is still a lot you can do:

Long-term control of plant diseases and pests

The long-term control of undesirable phenomena on the plants in the garden involves creating a healthy environment and checking the keeping conditions for individual, affected plants. In the case of a fungal disease, both go into each other because fungi normally only gain the upper hand when the infected plant is weak, and this is often the case when the populated area is not in ecological equilibrium.

Ecological balance? Recreate the whole garden and pay attention to balance? No, definitely not, you would never be able to do that anyway. On the contrary, problems with imbalances and the uncontrolled development of certain harmful organisms typically arise when humans fiddle with an ecosystem. It is typical that people do not take into account urgently required actions or prohibitions when intervening, either for financial reasons or because they simply have not yet understood the big picture.

Exactly these influences, the consequences of which you cannot foresee, should therefore be avoided in your garden if possible, or you should try to allow as much nature as possible in the garden again after such interventions have already taken place (through artificial fertilization without prior soil analysis, through monocultures Use of pesticides etc. etc.). The path to more ecological balance is therefore fairly easy at the beginning: Leave out everything that comes from the chemical factory, make a compost, and let many different plants grow on your beds.

The tree itself should also be looked at more closely: double-check that you really meet the basic needs of your fruit tree in terms of location, watering and nutrient supply, and correct any omissions.

Prevention and natural control of the frizz disease

With a healthier environment and, if necessary, better care, your fruit tree will also become stronger and stronger, until the time comes, you can support it with everything that is touted as a plant strengthener.

There are many natural materials that can be used as plant tonic, you can plant garlic and horseradish and non-climbing nasturtiums around the tree, which are also antifungal. You can strengthen the tree by fertilizing it with compost, you can mulch all year round and thus stimulate soil life. Field horsetail broth is said to have a general strengthening and preventive effect against fungal diseases in spring, sprayed on the plants and poured onto the soil in which the fungal spores have overwintered.

Gentle mushroom stoppers and plant strengtheners should be couch root tea, horsetail broth, liverwort extract, stinging nettle liquid and, in the case of curl disease, lemon balm broth, for watering and with algae lime as a morning spray when the buds swell (water with 2% algae lime and 5% algae lime). You can also spray diluted garlic tea on the buds from swelling through late May. Liquid manure or broths made from onion peels or stripped tomato shoots are also said to have a fungicidal effect; all of these liquids should be used at an early stage if you are to prevent even a fungal spore from entering a plant.

In the middle of winter, a spray cure should stop the fungus, water with 2% water glass and 3% algae lime. Water glass is sodium silicate, i.e. sodium and silicate. The tip from the Internet to tackle the fungus with homeopathic Silicea D 6 fits in with this; Silicea is also a related substance, silica. However, you can get away with the water glass a little cheaper, it costs around € 6 per liter, while you can spend around € 350 per liter on homeopathic Silicea D 6 …

You can also buy fruit mushroom protection for spraying; it is sprayed once shortly before budding and then twice when the buds break open. If you are interested in environmental friendliness and a balanced price-performance ratio, you should take a look at the ingredients of these products. If there z. For example, when talking about “plant extracts”, you might be sold exactly the same horsetail that you could pick in front of your own fence (but for a lot more money). When it comes to “natural fatty acids” without further information, you may only pay 20 euros for a spoonful of rapeseed oil, but you may also be splattering residues from the petroleum industry in your garden.

Mechanically combating frizziness

You can use the simplest mechanical way to combat ripple sickness when you are just starting to plant your fruit tree: plant it close to the house, under a roof overhang and pull it up as a trellis tree. Then it is not moistened by the rain in spring and does not get any fungal spores. The variant for the free-standing fruit tree that you urgently want to protect from the ripple sickness: Build it a rain cover under which it is placed under 16 degrees on all days in spring. Certainly not an idea for mighty old peach trees, but perhaps for young almond trees, a light tarpaulin construction would be sufficient.

A certain amount of mechanical control makes sense even if the peach tree is already showing symptoms. You will not be able to stop the disease, but you can make life a little easier for your tree during the disease. It helped some fruit trees that the infected leaves were removed from the tree immediately, every fallen leaf was raked up and everything was thrown away in the household rubbish in tightly closed bags. Some fruit tree owners report that these measures did nothing for their tree. Both are logical: If the next tree with Taphrina deformans is a few kilometers away and the fungal spores only end up in your own garden in very unfavorable weather conditions, you will be able to help your tree for just as long by removing as many fungal spores as possible,

Otherwise, you can make life easier for the tree by attaching rings of glue to the trunk so that it does not also have to fight against aphids, and vigorously thin out the fruits that are sometimes still developed so that the tree saves energy.

The gentle pruning of a troubled peach tree also has a strengthening effect, directly after the harvest, when it is strongest, and not in winter, when it is already struggling to close its wounds. Thinning out the peach tree well with this cut, if you prune it again heavily in late winter, you will often get rid of the fungus permanently.

Lower the infestation pressure together

In view of the above, the prerequisites are good for you to get to a fruit tree that is free from the ripple fungus in summer. However, if this is surrounded by other fruit trees that carry fungus, the fungus will reliably fly back in if you do not completely enclose your fruit tree in spring.

Then only a joint approach by the fruit tree owners affected will help in the long term to reduce the pressure of infestation to such an extent that otherwise healthy trees have a chance to recover. Before such community action has taken place, it would probably be better to refrain from using fungicides because:

Chemistry is not the answer to frizziness

In the current directory of pesticides for home and allotment gardens, there is a remedy that can be used against curl disease. It is a fungicide with the active ingredient difenoconazole, an active ingredient that is anything but harmless.

Difenoconazole bears a label according to the Hazardous Substances Ordinance, according to which it is harmful to aquatic organisms and can have long-term harmful effects in water, the classification as non-bee-dangerous is disputed by environmental organizations, the international pesticide action network PAN has classified the active substance as a whole as highly dangerous, and it is also suspected of making the fungus resistant.


The ripple disease can be combated with many different measures, but if in doubt, only lowering the infestation pressure or planting a resistant fruit tree will help in the long term. The fungicidal use of the only approved agent could give the fungus a boost, the many other fungicides that are still roaming the Internet as a remedy for curl disease should not be touched under any circumstances, their use is consistently harmful and prohibited.

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