Pomegranate problems: aphids, heat/sun damage, other?

Hi folks! All eight sets of the newest leaves on my (otherwise very healthy) shohin pomegranate look like this:

My initial thought was aphids, especially since I caught a couple small ants wandering through the canopy yesterday, but I couldn’t any specific physical evidence of aphids other than the ants.

The other option is heat and sun: it’s consistently above 90F for half the day here, we’re getting 14ish hours of sunlight, and I recently transitioned the pom from a very shady spot to a less shady spot (and the new leaves would obviously be best-positioned to get the new and intense amount of sun).

Thoughts? Should I send it back to the original shady spot, soap for aphids?

Looks like it could be peach leaf curl. Pomegranates are extremely susceptibility to this in my experience. My shohin pomegranate, which is a dwarf cultivar get a little bit of peach leaf curl ever year even when I treat with a fungicide. My other pomegranate that isn’t the drawsf cultivar seems to be more resilient to it. Wet springs encourage the spread of the fungus. It looks like the foliage is wet it the picture, I would try to make sure you don’t wet the foliage when watering.

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That’s really good info, esp. given how humid it is here and given I’ve been trying to keep the foliage wet to deal with the heat.

What are the signs of peach leaf curl on a pom other than the curling leaves? I thought there was some level of visible black fungus.

Also: if it IS peach leaf curl, should I treat with a fungicide, cut off the affected leaves, both, neither?

I haven’t noticed any other specific signs than the distorted leaves. However the drawf cultivar seems to develop small dark spots on leaf around where I see leaf curl. My pure pomegranate cultivar shows no other sign. All deep green leaves with a few random curled ones. I just prune off affected leaves for aesthetics.

The best way to treat peach leaf curl is to spray with a fungicide after leaf drop and just again as buds start to push with a liquid copper or mancozeb. Keeping them out of really wet conditions during dormancy and early spring will help as well. Drawf cultivars are far more susceptible in my experience. Hope that answered your question.