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Rust fungus will appear as orange balls on your cedar or juniper trees with extending limbs that are often described as orange slimy works or tentacles. They definitely look nasty which is fitting since they actually are pretty nasty as well. If you read on, we will give you a list of tips on what makes them appear, how to get rid of them, and why they might move on to your crab apple or apple tree in the near future.

How Rust Fungus Is Formed

The process begins with fungal spores that stem from infected apples or crab apples. These spores set off in late summer or early fall and are on the lookout for a juniper tree to settle down in.As the year comes to an end and the next begins, the fungus will start forming brown galls, wooden in appearance. This abnormal growth could be compared to a tumor and oftentimes takes on the shape and size of a golf ball. As the year moves back into fall, these galls will mature.

When spring comes back upon us after seasons of rain, the galls expand and grow bright orange tendrils. If you haven’t caught sight of the fungus up until this point, it definitely will catch your attention now.This is also the stage at which the fungus starts releasing spores which will land on the fruits of your tree, aka the apples or crab apples. Next come, the yellow spots and growth on the leaves that is commonly associated with cedar apple rust.

Can Rust Fungus Hurt Cedar Or Juniper Trees?

No, actually. For the fungus, these trees are only the breeding ground so their spores can get to the apple and crab apple trees. Once the galls have developed their orange tendrils and released the spores, the fruits of the tree will be infected. They will show yellow or orange dots – an early warning sign that they are about to drop. Only a Tree Service in San Jose will be able to help you have healthy trees.They have methods to ensure that the fungal growth does not reoccur.

How Can You Treat This Fungus?

With juniper trees being left unharmed by rust fungus, you do not necessarily have to treat them at all. However, a good preventative measure for protecting your apple and crab apple trees is to remove all juniper trees within a few hundred feet radius of them.There are a few fungicide applications which can help defeat the fungus if it has spread to your apple or crab apple trees. However, you should talk to an experienced arborist first for detailed instructions.