Crab apple tree showing dsitress

Asked May 17, 2019, 12:51 PM EDT

We are wondering what's going on with our crab apple tree. The leaves are dropping and have brown spots on them. See photos. Thank you, Sheryl

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

Hi, your leaves are infected with a rust disease (cedar-apple rust or cedar-hawthorn rust). You may see a fair amount of leaf drop this spring. Rake up and dispose of as many infected leaves as possible to reduce the amount of innoculum available to infect the alternate host- Eastern red cedar. Weather is a large factor determining the severity of the disease year-to-year. Repeated severe infections can weaken the tree and cause dieback.