A: I’m confident you are seeing the signs of cedar-apple rust. This disease typically doesn’t cause major damage, but you should make an effort to limit its spread. Cedar-apple rust requires a nearby juniper plant to carry out its full life cycle. The common Eastern redcedar, Juniperus virginiana, is usually the second host of the disease. Look around your property and decide if you have any of these trees that can be removed. If they can’t be removed, watch for bright orange, gelatinous “blobs” on branch tips in April. These should definitely be removed before they dry out to resemble brown English walnuts on the branches. Rake and remove the leaves and fruit that drop from your trees. One online reference states that Red Delicious, Gala Supreme, McIntosh and Liberty apple varieties are considered resistant to cedar-apple rust, but Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty, and York Imperial are highly susceptible.
Q: I am using a mixture of vinegar and salt and detergent to kill weeds. Will it hurt the mature oak, magnolia or pine trees in my yard? Margaret Landry, email