Strange growings on.... found this orange gelatenous sci-fi monsterish looking thing growing on a wild juniper. Turns out to be similar to a sci-fi monster! Spreads by spores, needs two hosts to complete it's life cycle, in this case a juniper is the first and a plant in the rose family will be the second. The juniper had developed a ..."gall" or swollen, misformed area on the stem. The gall was where this beast was living. It tried to "break out", by projecting tiny brownish branches. Then it absorbed water from all the rain we've been having (just like those sponge things they sell in the dollar store that increase in size by 100's of times...just add water!) and turned from tiny brownish to an inch or more in length and bright orange. These orange growth are called "telia" and are now happily releasing gazillions of spores into the air which will most likely be headed directly to the many wild roses in the area. Once the roses are infected, they will present with a bright orange rust and then the beast will once again express itself... as abnormal growths on the underside of the rose leaves and below the rose hips. These abnormal growths are called "aecia" and will release more spores into the air.. but later in the year. The spores from the aecia can only infect juniper. Sounds like sci-fi to me! Looks like an orange cheerleader's pom pom that has been used a few too many times. Not good with ID's on these buggers, but believe that this is a Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae. Genus should be right/species right/not sure about subsp. Great pics on Google Images.
So WHAT good is this little critter, have we discovered it yet? I think there is good in most everything, sometimes you have to look, and there has to be understanding of what one is looking at. I suspect the average person would be eager to torch that juniper. I'm not.
so what is the best way to get rid of the unwanted fungus on apple trees? I don't want to use fungicide but is that really my only choice?
I would guess that perhaps the first season I need to use fungicide, but there has to be a good guild of plants that will be beneficial to the apple tree and either eat or get rid of the fungus some way as well as be beneficial to each other. What that combination of plants is, I don't know but I hope some of you awesome folks here may be able to steer me in the right direction.
I am searching all through here. I welcome your help and wisdom.