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Cedar-Apple Rust Inquiry

 
                              
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Hey all you apple tree lovers living on lands where cedars grow so well,

I am working on the Pine Ridge Reservation in the SW South Dakota corner, and am working with several others on a design layout for 70 acres. We have about 4 trees (cottonwoods) growing on this 70 acre plot of land (out of 8,000 acres) and we obviously are planning out tree guilds (edible forest, windbreaks, greywater, etc), buut I just found out about the Cedar-apple rust disease (Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae). And, well, in the ravines of the praries out here, guess what grows best....yuup, cedars.

We already have implemented into our design layer, a huge border of cedar trees to serve as a wind break around the entire 70 acres, and  food forests with apple trees and an apple orchard were also planned within this 70 acres.....sooo, does anyone have any input on how these two trees can live in harmony with each other. Keep in mind that we have a small group of people working here as it is a start-up project  (and amazing....we are working on the Pine Ridge Reservation, towards developing the first Permaculture Research Institute on an Indian Reservation on this property---this is groundbreaking work!!) and we are spread thin, so we are looking for solutions that are low-maintenance. 

I have already read about the use of heavy mulching, spraying compost tea on the trees, and pruning for better air circulation. Some of these solutions are probably doable with the small amount of hands on board, however, anymore suggestions are definately desired!!

thanks for your input!! It is sooooo gratefully appreciated!
Stephanie

P.S. If you would like to be a part of this groundbreaking project, please contact me at ventosobra@gmail.com and let me know your skill area and interests!
 
Kay Bee
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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Cedar-apple rust is a nasty problem in many areas of the US.  If you want to avoid endless cycles of spraying, I'd ask around the area to see which varieties have the best resistance that can grow there.  There are a good number of apple varieties that have strong resistance to rust (and a number of other common diseases) that are commercially available.

A google search for "rust resistant apples" pops up lots of info that can keep you busy!

I've had good luck with Williams Pride and Chehalis, but that was in the southeastern US.  not sure how cold tolerant they are...

Also, rust can/will hit other fruits besides apples.  I've had trouble on pears, juneberries and others in the family, as well.  Some species like Juneberries, I haven't found a good rust resistant variety, yet.
 
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