I am not sure what type of tree this is but I was told it could be a...

Asked July 1, 2014, 12:34 PM EDT

I am not sure what type of tree this is but I was told it could be a "Chokeberry". I am sending a picture of the strange berries that have appreared this year only. When I pressed the berry it was like an orange powder. Please help.

Worcester County Maryland

3 Responses

Your plant is probably a chokeberry which is in the rose family. And, like other plants in the rose family, it is susceptible to Gymosproangium rust. The unusual appearance of the fruit is due to an outbreak of rust disease. This particular family of fungal disease is always accompanied by an alternate host of the Juniperus family. The occurrence of the disease on your Aronia can only be transferred to the plant by a nearby plant in the Juniper family. While it is not lethal to the Aronia, it messes up the fruit and sometimes the foliage.
Like other fungal diseases, it cannot be cured once the symptoms appear, but it can be prevented by spraying the shrub/tree with a fungicide before the symptoms appear in the spring, and continue to spray every week or two throughout the growing season.
It is important to practice good sanitation and to rake up anything that falls from the plant and destroying it.

thank you for your quick response. do you suggest that I take the trees out, or would spraying with a fungicide help at this point.

Spraying with a fungicide at this point is not going to help. It will not be curative. If you want you could spray next spring as a preventative. The amount of rust depends in part on the amount of moisture. Rust is very common. If you cannot live with the rust, you could consider removing the plants. vw