cedar apple rust
After the rain this week I suddenly have the worst cedar apple rust ever on my 30 ft Eastern Red Cedar. I've seen a rust dry powder in some previous years but this is ridiculous. [See photo] What can I do? The branches are coated with this orange jelly stuff. There is an apple tree in my neighbor's yard, and a quince in my other neighbor's yard.
That is a lot of cedar quince rust on the branches. Fortunately it isn't harming the tree. As you said, the amount varies from year to year. Just because you are seeing a lot this year does not mean there will be more next year. Here is our website information on cedar rust: http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/rust-diseases-trees-and-shrubs There is no simple remedy for your situation. Most folks just chalk it up as one of the curiosities of Mother Nature.