Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Handle Orange Fuzz with Fungicide or Pruning; Wet Spring and Cooler Temperatures Perfect Environment for Disease

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Handle Orange Fuzz with Fungicide or Pruning; Wet Spring and Cooler Temperatures Perfect Environment for Disease

Article excerpt

Byline: Paula Weatherby

The fruit on our pear tree is covered with an orange fuzz, and there are yellow spots on the leaves. What is it, how do we get rid of it and are we going to lose our tree?

Although there are several rust diseases that can cause problems for our pear trees, the culprit in this case is probably cedar-quince rust, a fungus not uncommon in our area. This year, our wet spring and cooler temperatures have provided the perfect environment for this disease to thrive.

Cedar quince rust is closely related to cedar apple and cedar hawthorn rusts. The rusts require two separate hosts to complete the life cycle. They infect both junipers, particularly the eastern red cedar, and an alternate host of the rose (Rosaceae) family, which includes apple, hawthorn and pears. The wind carries the spores from infected fruit to nearby cedar or juniper trees, where they develop into galls. These galls produce bright orange, jellylike horns that contain new spores. When these tubular horns open, the spores are carried by wind back to the fruit trees and the cycle starts again.

Unattractive yellow spots appear on the pear tree leaves, eventually turning brown and leading to leaf and fruit drop. A slightly raised purplish area may appear on the stem end of the fruit and the flesh is deformed to the core. Through the summer, the fungus matures within the pear and will later produce the spore structures.

If you are growing your tree for landscape purposes, you may want to simply prune out all branches of the cedars that have cankers or galls and any infected fruit. Your tree should come back.

There are several effective fungicides that can be used on potential cedar-quince rust hosts to help prevent and get rid of this disease. Mancozeb, Chlorothalonil (Daconil), Myclobutanil (Immunox), Tridiamefon (Bayleton) and Propiconazole (Banner) are all used for this disease.

Apply the product to the pears when the fungus is active on the junipers. Once the pear fruit is infected, it is too late to spray. Remove the infected fruit from the tree and destroy. Remember to always read and follow the instructions on the product's label.

About 5 months ago, we planted a holly tree close to the side of our house in a spot where we used to have one. Now, all the leaves on the back side have turned black and fallen off. It looks like it's dying. At the same time, there are new leaves sprouting. I would hate to lose it. What can we do?

Most holly plants are normally very resilient and are real workhorses in our North Florida yards. But all hollies are susceptible to a few problems. There are two holly foliage diseases that may be the cause of your problem. Both diseases are more common during wet, humid weather. They are tar spot of holly and holly anthracnose. …

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