Treatment for Pear Rust / Risk from Fruit?

Asked September 2, 2020, 5:26 PM EDT

Dear MSU Extension, I'm pretty sure the pear tree in our back yard has a severe case of European pear rust; most of the leaves are involved at this point. We also have several eastern red cedars in our yard (I believe they are also hosts?). I really don't want to cut any of them down. Is there any treatment we can apply otherwise? Also, we have brand new puppies in the back yard that are enjoying munching on the pears as they fall. The fruit is a little blemished, but I haven't seen any evidence of worms or other damage. Does pear rust pose any harm to animals munching on the fruit? Would greatly appreciate your advice!

Washtenaw County Michigan

1 Response

Routine fungicide treatments for rust are generally applied from pink (early bloom) to third cover (end of June). The fungicide myclobutanil (Immunox) is available to homeowners and is effective in controlling cedar apple rust and scab. Note there are several formulations of Immunox but only one is labeled for fruit. Mancozeb is also effective but is harder to find in stores in consumer sized packages.

I have never heard of any problems associated with eating rust infected fruit..I have eaten my share of infected apples and pears. I would stay away from fruit with moldy cores.