Cedar Tree Fungus


While fungus attacks take many forms, the two main diseases that fungus cause on cedar trees are cedar-hawthorn rust and cedar-apple rust. It's not difficult to tell these diseases apart.

Cedar-Hawthorn Rust

  • The fungus Gymnosporangium globosum causes cedar-hawthorn rust on eastern red cedar and southern red cedar trees. Trees affected with cedar-hawthorn rust will produce galls for more than one season, while trees with cedar-apple rust will not.

Cedar-Apple Rust

  • Cedar-apple rust occurs in greater volume in states where apples are a major crop. This fungal disease only occurs where red cedar trees and apple trees grow in proximity.

Signs of Cedar-Hawthorn Rust

  • Affected trees develop reddish-brown growths on the leaves that eventually swell and produce spiky horns in wet weather. These galls do not cause foliage to die.

Signs of Cedar-Apple Rust

  • Round galls develop on cedar trees affected with cedar-apple rust. The galls develop orange protrusions in the spring but do not damage the cedar trees greatly.


  • Plant varieties of cedar tree that are resistant to these two rust diseases.


  • You can spray cedar trees with fungicide to cure a fungal infection. Check with your local county extension office to find approved fungicides before you spray.

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  • Photo Credit big tree image by Ritu Jethani from Fotolia.com
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