03 June 2008

Warning: horrors in store

 Ribston PippinHere we have the embryonic orchard (the tree closest to the camera is a Ribston Pippin), growing away well and looking gloriously healthy. But is it all too good to be true?

Just as in a horror film, there is danger lurking in the bushes: the interesting-looking structure below is a cedar-apple-rust gall with its 'telial horns', one of a number growing on a red cedar (Eastern Juniper) tree close to the orchard.

Cedar-apple-rust gallThe spores in these horns are released during wet spells (like today's) and will spread to apple trees in the vicinity. The affected apple trees will release their spores in late summer, ready to re-infect the cedars. I noticed the galls the other day and thought 'Aren't they pretty?'. Now I feel differently about them. Sometimes ignorance is preferable!

Seasonal pond, 3 June 2008So today's rain may be bad news for the apple trees, but at least the tadpoles have got their pond back. It was down to three large puddles on Friday. The weather is due to turn hot and dry after today, though, so they're still living on borrowed time.


themanicgardener said...

Wow. Great post--great pictures. (Great title.) I would have picked it on Blotanical, but picks seem to be down again--

What can be done about this particular horror?

Anonymous said...

Hiya Amanda,

No idea how I arrived here, but hello anyways ;-)
That growth does indeed look very pretty. A little like carrot shavings bundled together.
You have me worried now, and I daren't go out to inspect my own cedars for fear of finding something similar. (My life is one big chain of coincidences it seems, and I wouldn't be surprised if today of all days I'd find one too.)

Hope your apples come through ok.
(joco in the uk.)

Mrs Be said...

Goodness, they sound horrible. Do you just have to chop them off then? Makes slugs seem almost sweet...:-)