Disease name: Peach Leaf Curl
Pathogen name: Taphrina deformans (fungus).
Hosts: Peach and nectarine (similar diseases from related fungi can affect cherry and plum.)
While Northern Illinois is not an area where peaches are grown commercially, there are many home gardeners who do grow peaches. Peach leaf curl is a fungal disease of peaches and nectarines and it has become more prominent in Northern Illinois in recent years. While primarily a leaf disease, it can impact fruit production and the overall health of the tree. The disease can be severe in years with a rainy spring. A wet spring can lead to defoliation in the early part of the season. This weakens the tree and can lead to infection by other diseases, winter injury, and a reduced crop in the following year.