Discussion in 'Fruit Trees' started by Native Hunter, May 7, 2022.
Devil made me do it....
I'm not sure what I'm seeing here, looks foreign to a Pennsylvania boy. Are you saying that this is an orange tree? It looks like an arborvitae with dead squid hanging on it...
C.a.r. But I’ll start calling it orange squid syndrome from now on. No juniper trees in Pa??
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This is the source of Cedar Apple Rust (CAR) on apple trees. The apples and red cedars pass it back and forth to each other. Now you see why I'm such a preacher of disease resistant cultivars. I have topworked most of my trees that are susceptible to CAR. I still have one tree that gets it pretty bad, but it doesn't prevent the tree from fruiting well. The worst one I had was Goldrush. That tree completely defoliated each year, and in 6 years I never saw the first apple on it. Two years ago it was topworked to a Yates (which is highly CAR resistant) and it looks like a good crop has set this year.
Shown below is what CAR did to my Goldrush:
Compare the above photo to a highly disease resistant apple in the photo below. These trees are a few feet apart. This is one of those times pictures are worth a thousand words.
Why wouldn't you just eliminate all of the red cedars on your property? Or does that not make a difference with CAR?
I wouldn't do that for the following reasons:
First, because red cedars are extremely common and can be found on adjoining properties as well. In fact, most property line fence trees in my area are made up primarily of red cedars. The CAR spores are carried by wind and can travel miles. So, even if you could eliminate all of your own red cedars, you would still be affected by those on adjoining properties.
Second, red cedars make incredible screening/cover trees. They work well in some places where nothing else will. These places can be a hot spot during hunting season for holding mature bucks. This is especially true in areas where good cover is at a premium at that time of year - when hunting pressure increases and leaves start falling.
Turkeys make their dusting sites under the limbs of large, mature red cedars. The limbs completely cut off the sunlight and kill the plants underneath. This makes bare ground that is easy for the turkeys to dig in. They fill their feathers with dust, which helps to keep them healthy. It cleans the feathers of grease, which could impede flight, and it removes parasites. Where I live there are no other naturally occurring, large conifers that are available for them. If you ever spook a dusting turkey, it's a sight to behold. They take off and the cloud of dust resembles someone firing a black powder gun.
Not even a lot of wildlife biologist realize how much quail use mature red cedars. Yes, quail are generally thought of as ground nesting birds, but they also spend a lot of time in the big cedars. I hear them whistling in the trees all the time, and they are the only tree on my place that I have ever seen or heard a quail in. Even though I now have some large white pines that I planted, I have never seen a quail in one of those, and I have never seen a turkey dust under one.
The berries are highly nutritious to birds, and many species of birds eat them.
They are free, and they transplant easily.
So, these are the main reasons. No, you wouldn't want a monoculture of red cedars - just like you don't want a monoculture of anything, but they do play an important role on my land.
Thanks for that great introduction to the benefits and drawbacks of red cedars. Some parts of southeastern PA have a lot of red cedars, but as you go northwest the numbers drop, and on my main hunting property there's very few. Now I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. We have no quail, but neither do we have CAR...
I enjoyed the discussion MM. This forum helps us all to learn about different parts of the country. Thanks for the replies.
Great points! Also, I don't know how many sheds I've found around cedars in the warm season grass areas. On the property we used to own we had a lot of warm season grass/cedar combinations, those areas always held deer in season. Cedars, in my experience are pretty easy to control, when they get about 6+ feet tall, they seem to die completely by just cutting them off at ground level.
Lots of cedars around my Ky place too. I set a Goldrush in 2018; shortly after that I realized I'd overlooked Goldrush's weakness for CAR. I really like the fruit so I stubbornly left it. By late summer CAR has hammered it every year, but it seems to have more "try" in it than anything else I've planted. Last year it had a couple of apples but they didn't finish out.
This year I tried top working for the first time, and grafted scions from this tree to a volunteer crab on the edge of my yard in PA. This pic is a week old so the new growth on the scions has at least doubled since the pic was taken.
Since I am new to this grafting stuff and don't know what to expect for survival, I'm letting the Goldrush in Ky alone for another year. If my topworking attempts don't pan out this year I'll have a scion source to work with again next spring. Just like last year, it's starting out with the ol' All-American try this spring...
When I was on my Ky place a week ago I spotted a 4'-5' tall cedar near my little orchard with those nasty orange things on it. I cut it down. I'm sure the only good that did was to salve my vengeful spirit, but it did do that, a little.
I was like WTH!? Gotta love CAR
I gotcha man!
Your Goldrush was almost as beautiful as mine.....
how did I fall for that one?
I know your weaknesses. Especially catching fish with garlic cheese.
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