Rust on Apple trees

A couple of years ago, I planted myself a nice little orchard on the back portion of my yard. Recently, I've noticed that the apple trees (4 vairieties) are having leaves dry up and drop, basically whole branches of leaves. I mentioned this to my dad who has had orchards all my life and he says it is caused by the cedar trees we have here in South Central Kentucky. Has anyone else found this problem and some means of taking care of it. I can't hardly cut down all the cedars within the area and I've already tried a fungicide to no avail.
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First verify that the problem you are having is actually cedar apple rust.
Cedar Apple Rust (University of Kentucky Apple IPM web site) http://www.uky.edu/Ag/IPM/appleipm/appleipm/rust.php
Fire Blight (University of Kentucky Apple IPM web site) http://www.uky.edu/Ag/IPM/appleipm/appleipm/fblight.php
If it is rust, actually for most diseases, you need to start your spray program *before* you see the problem. Once the leaves are showing they are infected, the spray will only help slow down the spread, not cure it. http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/DG0675.html A spray schedule for apple trees based on growth stage.
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Hi James,
First, be sure this is Apple Cedar Rust. Your symptoms don't exactly match up. With the Rust, your leaves would first develop spots of black/brown with a yellow circle around them. I would check for any Juniper trees, of which the red cedar is a member (juniperus), in your vicinity. There would be corresponding galls or orange horns on the junipers. I had to pull out two of my red cedars near my apple trees, when spraying would not do the job. I'm not sure what kind of fungicide you tried, but I used Zineb. The Ortho Book says you can't control it this season, but next season when the buds turn pink, spray with Zineb or Ferbam. Spray when 75% of the blossoms have fallen, and again 10 days later. Ortho gives a range of contact with junipers at several hundred yards.
I'm still suspicious that it may not be Apple Cedar Rust based on your description of the apple leaves. Take another look for the tell tale spotting.
Sherwin D.
" snipped-for-privacy@wku.edu" wrote:

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OK, so now I think I'm learning something. Thanks for the web sites. Looks like what I have is fire blight. The pictures and desciptions match exactly what is going on with my trees.
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I treated my fire blight by pruning the trees faithfully each Feb. In the spring when the leaves started coming out, I removed all the dead wood as soon as I identified it, that may have died after I pruned the trees. I was informed that fire blight enters the trees when it finds dead wood.
I also removed all my cedar trees that were traditionally "up wind" from my apples. That helped with the other problem.
Dwayne

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