Varieties resistant to cedar apple rust
apple rust has struck again. This winter, we cut down
nearby Red Cedars,
but we only girdled the ones that were too
close to the electric line for easy felling. The girdled trees
are taking their own sweet time to die, so they were able to transmit
the fungus to our fruit trees yet again.
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These orange spots are a
sure sign that our trees are infected.
This means another year of malingering, although I hope by next year we
will have wiped out the closest Red Cedars and our apple trees will
finally take off.
To be fair, not all of
our apple trees are malingering. I've noticed quite a range of
sensitivies, from the Winter Banana and Stayman Winesap, which
would just as soon not do
anything as long as the rust is in the air, to our Virginia
Beauty and Early Transparent, which are growing quite happily with just
small spots speckling their leaves.
If cutting the nearest
cedars doesn't bring relief to our apples, I'm not
going to have Mark fell all of the cedars on our property --- there
are just too many. Instead, I'll take a permaculture approach and
replace our susceptible trees with resistant ones. For example,
old fashioned Winesaps are resistant to cedar apple rust, while Stayman
not. The best list of resistant species I've run across is in this pdf
file from the Arkansas Extension Service, unique in that it includes
heirloom species as well as those specifically bred to be disease
resistant. In our neck of the woods, where Red Cedars are a very
common early successional tree, it probably would have made sense to
only plant resistant varieties in the first place.