Cedar-Apple Rust

Just For Fun

Cedar-apple rust is a common disease in our area. If you have apple trees you have probably seen it before. It is an unusual disease in that it alternates between hosts. Let’s talk about this disease so that you can learn how to identify and control it.

Cedar-apple rust (CAR) is from the Pucciniaceae family. Members of this family need more than one host to complete their life cycle. Some other diseases in this family are black stem rust of wheat, soybean rust, and white pine blister rust. Apple trees that are heavily infested with CAR will see reduced yield and blemished fruit. It can also weaken and kill eastern red cedar is the infection is severe enough, but this is rare. Red cedar is the primary alternate host for CAR. On apple trees, the infection creates orange-yellowish spots. On cedar trees, you will see gelatinous masses form that are bright orange. You also see what are called telial horns that grow out of the mass. To me these masses look like they are not from this earth. If the tree is heavily infected it might look like little Christmas decorations hanging from the limbs.

These masses will start to appear on cedar and juniper trees about seven months after infection and turn gelatinous 18 months after infection. The horns begin to appear, but if the weather is dry, they will dry out quickly, and then swell back out after a rain. The horns release spores to infect apple trees. The masses on the cedar tree will dry up and remain on the tree for about another year, but they are dead at that point. The spores released can only infect plants from the rose family, like apple trees, not more cedar trees. The spores released can travel 2 or 3 miles on the wind to infect an apple tree. When they land on an apple tree, they germinate and create the orange spot. These spots release a sticky liquid to attract insects. As the insects pick up the sticky liquid they transport spermatia from one infection to the next, which fertilizes the disease. The disease then grows through the leaf and creates new spores on the bottom side that are blown back to a cedar tree to start the cycle all over again. 

Spraying to control this disease on cedar trees is not recommended. CAR will rarely kill cedar trees. You can prune out galls to slow its spread. If you see this disease on a cedar tree, it may be best simply to co-exist with the disease, as it does little damage to the cedar. On apple trees there are some other management options. It will cause apple trees to lose their leaves and infects the fruit. Captan and myclobutanil can both be used preventatively against CAR. If you have cedar trees right next to your apple trees you might consider removing them. But keep in mind that the spores can travel a couple of miles from cedar trees, so even if you remove all the cedar trees that you can see, you can still get this disease because we have a lot of cedar trees around. 

Cedar-quince rust looks similar to CAR, but it infects pear trees instead of apple. This disease also forms gelatinous masses along its branches instead of balls like CAR.

If you have questions about cedar-apple rust contact your County Extension Office or email me at [email protected].

Scoring Points: Saving Spring Sports

Just For Fun
Recruiting, Spring, spring sports, sports, Gentry

(Although Kemp has since closed schools for the remainder of the year. FYN Sunday Edition is still running this opinion in its original form to highlight some Georgia student athletes and their efforts for Spring Sports this year.)

With Georgia Governor Brian Kemp extending order for schools to remain closed until April 24th, April 27th is the new date that everyone should have circled on their calendars. That is the date that schools will reopen and high school sports should resume, however the threat of Covid-19 cancelling the rest of the spring season still lingers. Georgia High School Student-Athletes are starting to voice their concerns about the cancellation of their season. In an effort to perhaps calm some of those fears, GHSA Executive Director Dr. Robin Hines said Friday that Georgia still hopes to have some sort of spring sports this year.

Hines told a reporter of the Oconee Enterprise, “We would do everything that we could do to have some sort of abbreviated season and abbreviated championships. That would be our first goal that we would like to see happen. That goes on down to it being after the school year ends where it’s safe to do things again to allow schools to play games and have a senior night. The worst case scenario would be to cancel the spring season. But here at the Georgia School Association I’m not prepared to do that now.”

That worst case scenario is exactly what Georgia High School athletes are worried about. Georgia athlete Daniel Martin started a petition on Change.org that can be found here, a petition that already has over 30,000 signatures that is simply titled, Do Not Cancel Spring High School Sports. Many athletes all across North Georgia and the rest of the state have signed this petition in an effort to perhaps have one last couple of practices and games together with their squad. For some kids, they are facing the reality that they may never get to throw another pitch again or run in another meet. A reality that some might not be able to come to terms with yet and maybe they won’t have to. With as much support as this petition is getting and with as many athletes that are speaking their minds on social media across the state it is going to be a really tough decision that the state is going to have to make, in regards to a full cancellation of the season.

One positive thing that can be taken away from all this is it’s good to see the kids standing up for themselves and saying that they understand that this is a situation that can’t be dealt with lightly, but they also need us to understand where they are coming from. Hopefully Dr. Robin Hines is a man of his word and will do everything in his power to do right by these kids.

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