I noticed the orange blossomlike, mushroomlike indicator yesterday on a juniper tree that sits about 125 ft from our Appletrees. Is there anything I can do to protect the Apple trees without removing the juniper?
The leaves on the apples did get yellow-ish last last summer. My fear is that that this has already taken hold of the Apple trees. The area to the left of the slide in the distance of photo is where Apple trees are located.
Has anyone moved through this in the past? What was your approach? Success?
Trace Oswald wrote:I'm dealing with it right now on my new land. I have a lot of cedars, all have cedar Apple rust. I don't know a way of dealing organically short of removing the trees. That's what I'm doing.
Yikes. That was my initial thought, but my wife really likes this juniper tree.
If a cedar is infected, there will be an orange ball on it. That should be pruned out and destroyed (burning is one way). Disinfect your pruning shears and use good garden hygiene- don’t work your cedars and then your apples. Good hygiene may be all you need to control the disease, but if not, you can make a garlic spray for your affected trees. You can make a spray by blending cloves with water, letting them soak for a day or so, straining and pouring into your sprayer. There are also organic sulphur sprays. BUT, if you resort to sprays, whether garlic or commercial sulphur (garlic contains sulphur), PLEASE be mindful of the pollinators and do not spray when they are actively working your orchard. Remember that just because something is “organic” does not mean it is safe for bees! No bees, no fruit.
Invasive plants are Earth's way of insisting we notice her medicines. Stephen Herrod Buhner
Everyone learns what works by learning what doesn't work. Stephen Herrod Buhner
Anne beat me to the way to control apple cedar rust.
Once you have removed the infected portions, either bag them for the dump or burn them (this needs to be done in a closed system so the spores don't get airborne before the heat can kill them).
Keep in mind that you have to keep watch on the infected tree(s) and prune any new rust organisms as they appear.
It is a good idea to keep one pair of pruners just for this purpose and sterilizing them before and after every use is mandatory to prevent spreading the infection to other plants.
Aeratedcompost teas are good to spray the junipers with, once a month for a year might allow the tree to be free of the fungus.
I'm pretty aggressive about the rust. The cedars are infected, to the best of my knowledge, once they have manifested the fruiting bodies, beyond the visible infection. Pruning the fruiting bodies is practically worthless. I am ruthlessly culling infected cedars. There are several different rusts: cedar + hawthorn, apple, quince etc. We have almost entirely apple and hawthorn rust here, but you may be different.
The rust is spread for kilometers, I don't think pruning fruiting bodies is likely to be effective. I plant ONLY resistant plants if I can find them, the apple relatives are the (generally) non-natives that the junipers have no resistance to, so I try to help by not planting cultivars that make the problem worse. I am hoping to generate a resistant genetic profile on my property- any fruiting bodies mean the juniper is culled. You sadly have to pick between the native junipers and the non-native apples. The exception is the serviceberry, which is highly affected but also native.
I pruned some serviceberries that were showing rust, but again, it seems futile. I am hoping to get better genetics through selection pressure- resistant "cedars" and resistant serviceberries. I know I am an outlier but resistant eastern red cedars would be a huge contribution, and nature does most of the work. I have promised my seeds to anyone who asks when I get a pretty good selection of naturally resistant trees pollinating each other. So far unfortunately I am up to four mature trees that show natural resistance, and there are other eastern red cedars that may be contributing pollen, they are within a quarter mile and I don't own that property. It is going to take some time... Seeds will be offered here this winter for the eastern redcedar. I will even pay postage. This is a bit of a quest!
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