Can susceptible apple trees overcome CAR?

Help! We planted apple trees earlier this year. This was our first time and we weren’t aware of cedar apple rust. We have a lot of cedar around us. It is now showing on 2 of our trees (pristine, crimson crisp). I now know these varieties are very susceptible. Is there any chance these trees can overcome it? We are ready to replace them but don’t want to if there is a chance they can overcome it. We also have a golden grimes showing some but it is supposed to be resistant so we are thinking of giving it a chance. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.

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I am by far no expert but the information I have from Century Farms Orchards says that younger trees aren’t hurt as badly because they are still growing and putting on more leaves. Here is a link I posted elsewhere that has their information.


Consider grafting over your more susceptible varieties to Liberty, Freedom, and so on. Otherwise there are spray programs that can help a lot, but I don’t know anything about those.


If you have invested in the trees and time, I would invest in spray. A good sticker, a fungicide, then a sticker and Triazicide and repeat every three weeks. Bag your apples after spraying.


Well, the fungus on the cedar (Juniper) trees was bad earlier, and now the cedar apple rust is worst I’ve seen it in several years. Wet 2018 may have been a factor.

Haven’t had any trees actually killed…but some can lose a lot of leaves…which obviously isn’t good for the tree’s health.

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Oh, and while I’m thinking on this topic…hawthorn trees have berries and they get cedar apple rust that deforms the berries…and amelanchier (serviceberries) get it pretty bad too, with deformed fruit that isn’t edible.

With this being a bad year, maybe I can come up with a grade of some sort for my six dozen or so varieties of apples for cedar apple rust. Only 2 or 3 trees have none at all…and one of them is the 28 year old tree that was mislabeled that I keep trying to identify.


Removal of your local cedar population may be beneficial.

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Thanks everyone for the advice. I really like the idea of grafting onto them. I am definitely going to try that with one.

I was thinking of cutting the other one below the graft and growing the rootstock to provide more rootstocks for future trees. Does anyone know if this will work?

Before you start all over with grafts, you might consider spraying as others have suggested. I lost my apple crop on some susceptible varieties every year to CAR because I didn’t bother spraying them . This is the first year I sprayed my apples, and the difference is amazing. Those trees that usually had their apples completely ruined by this time of the year look incredible now, because I sprayed. And CAR is extremely prevalent here…I have a huge “cedar” only about 60 feet from several of my trees, and it is covered with the tale-tale Rust blobs this year. Yet by spraying only 3-4 times, all my apples are absolutely perfect looking. I spray myclobutanil and Captan and it 100% stopped car. Wasn’t much work and outcome was great. So I’m just saying that yes, your trees absolutely can overcome CAR if you are willing to spray them a few times early in the season. Good luck.

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If you cut below the graft in all likelihood you can graft directly at that point. Or, you may get a number of shoots from below the graft, and you can graft to any/all of those (although you might not want to).

If you’re hoping to get your rootstock to divide into multiple rootstocks it depends. In a process called “stooling” many rootstocks will cooperate nicely, some won’t. I think if you search (little hand lens tool by your avatar) you can find quite a bit on that here.

That would involve thousands of trees within 2 miles…not an option. And I’m not all that worried…in 28 years not one tree has actually died from it.

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