Fruit trees provide healthy, fresh fruit to eat and a shady place to relax in the summertime. These trees can also be used to landscape yards, as fruit trees display brilliantly coloured leaves and blooms. Unfortunately, some fruit trees are susceptible to fungi, which can cause rust to form on the leaves. Rust on fruit trees can result in premature defoliation and fruit distortion. Treat fruit trees with rust promptly, and take precautions to prevent the rust from spreading to other nearby trees.
Examine the leaves on the tree to ensure that rust is the issue. In the spring, look for tiny, orange spots on the surfaces and undersides of leaves. These spots will turn black in the early summer and then later develop into swollen orange or grey lumps.
Put on gardening gloves, and then pick off as many infected leaves as you can reach. This will prevent the rust from spreading, as the fungus will die as soon as the leaves dehydrate.
Prune the fruit tree to prevent the rust from spreading to more branches. Use pruning shears to cut off heavily infected branches, cutting at an angle close to the main branch.
Apply a fungicide to the fruit tree in the spring if the rust progresses. Apply the fungicide according to the manufacturer's directions.
It may be necessary to relocate any nearby juniper trees, as the fungus can spread to juniper trees.