Peach producers need to be mindful of Phony peach disease. According to the UGA Peach Blog, Phil Brannen, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension plant pathologist, cautions growers that if a tree is diagnosed with the disease, they need to destroy the tree immediately. They also need to remove it from the orchard to prevent further spread of the Xylella fastidiosa bacterium by sharpshooter insects, the predominant vector of the pathogen in the Southeast.
Infected trees are initially stunted due to shortened internodes between the leaves and limited growth. Less fruit are produced over time, and the fruit size diminishes as well. Given enough time, the tree will die as a result of the pathogen or indirectly due to stress and other factors.