What can I do now about Cedar-Apple Rust on Apple Trees

sam_ny(5)July 4, 2012


I just figured out that what's wreaking havoc on my 2 year old apple trees is very likely CAR. Any advice for what I can do about it in early July? I know the best time to treat is spring, just when it leaves are budding out, but I missed that opportunity.

Would sulfur spray now do anything? Michael Phillips, I believe, says he does three applications of Sulfur, but I don't have his book here (which has a schedule and more info). I've heard people recommend compost tea but I've never made it and don't know if it would do anything now anyway.

Any suggestions?

If anyone's curious, of the "disease resistant" varieties, William's Pride and Liberty have held up the best, MacFree fared a little worse, and JonaFree is really having a rough time with CAR.

Thanks for any advice!


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Randy31513(Georgia 8b)

Sam I use Spectracide Immunox for apples CAR. Right now it is too hot for it down here.

How do you like the Williams Pride? I just planted two this year.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 3:33PM
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alan haigh

It might be helpful to spray with myclobutanil (the ingredient in Immunox) as it has kickback and will dry up active spores, at least that seems to be the result of rescue sprays for me. If it looks bad enough to defoliate the trees early it's definitely worth spraying IMO unless trees are putting out vigorous uninfected new growth.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 5:24PM
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We had more than a dozen junipers removed after they became infected and the cedar apple rust spread to our apples. Liberty was the worst affected, but then she was closest to the source of inoculum. Williams Pride had a bad case, too, but the tree is really big and it was a non-bearing year, so I don't think she cared.

With the junipers gone and their previous site well mulched with sawdust, we saw very little rust this year -- just a few spots on bud leaves, which I clipped off as I thinned.

We have Liberty, Enterpise and Williams Pride for scab resistance, but I don't think anything resists cedar apple rust.

Wait till you see the mature fruiting bodies on apple leaves -- really grotesque. We raked and weeded and mulched to clean up the orchard floor, and both trees made very nice recoveries.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 9:52AM
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Many apples have resistance to CAR. At least from the literature Liberty, spartan,priscila,winesap, arkansas black,empire and enterprize to name a few.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 1:18PM
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Besides using resistant apple varieties already mentioned, you can remove all cedar and junipers you can find from your property. This may or may not help depending how many infected trees are upwind of your property.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 2:44PM
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Anyone know if Japanese Cryptomeria trees will promote CAR?

I have several close to my new orchard but was told that they do not promote CAR.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 6:08AM
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Thanks for the responses. How toxic is Immunox/myclobutanil? The warnings of course make it sound horrible and our water comes from a well not far off.

Unfortunately, there will be no getting rid of the cedars, for family reasons. And while the area around the trees is mowed and underneath is kept mulched and weeded, the rest of the field (and the surrounding fields) are basically tall weedy grass that gets mowed once a year. That's not going anywhere either unless someone gives me a brush hog and a tractor to pull it with.

I guess the best bet moving forward is to try to spray at the right time(s) in the future. I'll look into the suggested sprays for this year, though.

Randy - My William's Pride isn't bearing yet (just put it in this year). I've had them from farm stands though and thought they were good enough to try planting. I don't have any tasting notes or anything, though :)

Anyway, I hope they're good. Thanks again.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 10:49AM
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alan haigh

Off the top of my head, the only insecticides implicated in polluting wells are the old ones such as lead arsenate and DDT, with LA continuing to be a persistent problem at old orchard sites.

Ever read the warning labels on prescription medicines? I consider fungicides fruit tree medications and myclobutanil a relatively safe one.

Certain herbicides and nitrates (often from "natural" sources such as feed lots) are the other agricultural chemicals usually associated with water contamination.


That will lead you to what I consider (I'm a bit biased there) a rather substantial discussion on the danger of pesticide use in orchards that I started here about a year ago. I'd be interested in your response.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 12:12PM
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