Trees & Rust Fungus

Written by lisa chinn Google
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Trees & Rust Fungus
Many varieties of trees can get at least one type of rust fungus. (conifer at sunset image by christine dedman from Fotolia.com)

Trees can get a variety of fungal diseases, which are unattractive and sometimes damaging to the trees. Rust fungus gets its name from its rust-coloured appearance. Different types of rust fungi infect different tree species.

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Types

Different types of rust fungi usually have names that include the type of tree they infect. For example, some varieties include ash rust, cedar-apple rust, pine stem rust and white pine blister rust.

Appearance

In general, rust fungus has a yellow, orange or red rusty colour. Ash rust and cedar-apple rust show up as rusty spots on the tree's leaves. White pine blister rust and stem rusts show up as growths or rust-coloured wounds on tree branches or trunks

Effects

Rust fungus may kill some branches on conifers. Ash rust usually does not damage a tree severely, but it can make it more likely to sustain damage from cold winter temperatures. Apple-cedar rust can damage fruit on apple trees.

Prevention/Solution

Fungicide sprays can help kill rust fungus, and gardeners can prevent the fungus by making sure to purchase healthy trees from certified nurseries.

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