Orange fungus on native 'cedars'. Cedar-Quince rust? What to do?!

meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevationMarch 31, 2014

This is the first year I've seen a bright orange fungus starting on my native Virginia junipers, and it's now quickly in the gooey stage. There isn't much of it, and I keep these bushy and short, so no problem if I should just cut most of it out. I'd like to spray them if y'all can recommend an easily-gotten fungicide for evergreens. Those trees are for my birds and a bit of view-screening in the back yards, not stately things ;) The orange goo and earlier spots look like pictures of Cedar-Quince Rust.

But which of my fruit trees should I worry about, and what should I do?

About 300 feet away upwind, I grow: Pears, Figs, Peaches, Apricots, Cherries (Duke, Sweet, Carmine Jewel), Almond, Morus nigra, and will add plums this year. I also grow all sorts of cane berries, blueberries and strawberries.

No quinces or apples, but I was going to add Juneberry. I take it my pears at least need a program for it? Help!

(And if y'all know if my other related conifers may be in trouble from it, that would be great, too. I have a trio of 'Stove Pipe' junipers masquerading as Italian cypresses, and those would be a problem if they needed a lot of pruning-out of branches.) Thanks!

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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

I forgot to mention that my orchard trees are not of fruiting age yet, so I don't have to worry about the fungicide and eating that fruit this year at all. Several years for the pears, probably. I'm trying to get the structure solid, so pruning is a bigger issue, OTOH.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 4:55AM
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Primarily the problem is with apples

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 6:01AM
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I have strains of the rust fungus here that will - and do - infect apples, quince, and mayhaws(Crataegus spp) - and it's much more problematic for me on the quince and mayhaws, than on the apples; other than GoldRush and the native crabs(M.coronaria, M.ioensis), CAR is barely even noticeable to me.
Have not seen convincing evidence of infection on any of my pears here.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 2:26PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

Excellent (for me)! I kept reading about it affecting 'members of the rose family' and worried for my poor pears.

Is it possible to spray conifers for it? I'm sure some of my neighbors probably have apples, so I'd go on and get it taken care of on my cedars if I could without too much trouble.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 3:58PM
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I've asked the arborists about this, and they always say no.

Not sure I totally believe them.

You'd have to target the evergreens when the apples/quinces are sporulating.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 4:31PM
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I have - years ago, in an orchard in AL - seen pear rust - every fruit on the tree was a mass of fungal fruiting bodies - not unlike my mayhaws, some years. Don't recall if there were any branch/twig lesions on that pear.
I do see branch/twig rust lesions on mayhaws and quince here - but I only pick/clip/discard affected fruit and lesions on branches.
I don't have time or inclination to spray. Some years, the mayhaws mature most of their fruits before the rust strikes, but last year, it got most of the crop.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 5:39PM
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I have had it for several years affecting my hawthorns that I had planted for the birds. I believe it may have originated on a juniper nearby that eventually died. I never found the site where it overwinters but I read that the infected host could be some distance away. Lots of wild eastern redcedar around here. I tried several different fungicides which were supposed to be effective for rust but never could keep up with the spraying ("reapply after every rain", and it rains every other day here in the spring). Either for that reason, or just because, they haven't helped.

Last year which started out very rainy then got very hot was the first year that it affected my quince. Had a huge crop coming on and had to toss every bit. My nearby crabapple is unaffected so far, neither is my farther away Juneberry.

I drastically pruned the hawthorns (back to the trunk) and the quince to get rid of every bit of affected wood and prevent spores from forming. I plan to finish taking out the hawthorns before they leaf out next week. Then I will spray the quince and hope for the best.

I really hope this stops it in its tracks; I have several apple, cherries, a pear and native plum and would cry if they all get infected.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 10:11PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

I hate a disease that has two hosts :( Finding all the other wild redcedar would be hard around here, too. I will prune out what I see on mine in my yard; that should help somebody, lol.

I don't know where the infected apple trees must be. I know a few close neighbors I could ask to make sure they are aware of it, but otherwise everyone around here grows something like that. Our backyards are HUGE and gardening for food has always been done in this 'neighborhood'. It used to be a lot of home farmsteads, not too distantly in the past :)

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 1:29AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I took out my quince .. quince rust problem solved! The apples and pears never got it, only quince and medlar. Apples had cedar apple rust though. Myclobutanil at petal fall is a pretty good treatment; you don't need a lot of sprays, you need one spray not long before the cedar rust on the cedars sporulates.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 10:17AM
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