Cedar Apple Rust
What is Cedar Apple Rust (CAR)?
Cedar Apple Rust(CAR) is a fungus that primarily resides in cedar trees as a golfball-sized gall. In the early spring, from about mid April through mid May, the fungus will sprout tenicle-like arms and release millions of spores. These spores are carried by the wind and can land on certain varieties of apple trees and infect them. The infections are made worse by certain weather conditions (light winds, temperatures in the 60's to near 70 and a moist, fog-like atmosphere. One cannot spray for it once it appears on the leaf. It is too late at that point. It has to be prevented. For a young tree, it is less of a problem because a young tree continues to grow all summer, so it usually grows and puts out more leaves beyond those affected in early May. It can hurt an old tree that tends to grow less new leaves through out the summer.
What should you do about CAR?
In short, removing all cedars will not solve your problem because they could be receiving the fungus from a cedar tree 1/4 of a mile away or further........but having cedar trees very close to the apple trees does not help them. You cannot spray for it once it appears on the leaf. It has to be prevented. One can spray Immunox (can be purchased at most home garden centers ) it is cheap or Rally 40 (need to purchase at Southern Ag Supply in Boone, NC 828.264.8843)) Rally 40 is the best, but you would need to buy about $80 worth (that is the smallest quantity). If one could spray 2 to 4 times (10 days apart) in early April to mid May, then would not have to spray any more that season.
Are there varieties that are immune to CAR?
There are some apple varieties that are genetically resistant and do not need spraying......but these varieties are generally not goood pollinators and therefore you would still need to plant one that might be susceptible to the fungus.
Do not let cedar apple (CAR) stop you from planting a tree that may be susceptible.
As for trees that are cedar apple rust resistant, I recommend the following:
Old Fashioned Winesap, Blacktwig, Va. Beauty, Stayman, Mary Reid, Kinnaird's Choice, Arkansas Black, Enterprise, Liberty, Roxbury Russet, Williams Favorite, Va. Winesap. Some of these are not good polliators, so you might want to get a couple of Va. Golds or Grimes Golden to help them produce apples.
I hope this helps.