I live in zone 5 and have a Serviceberry that bloomed beautifully this spring, then produced many berries and now has yellowing leaves with brownish spots. The leaves will soon fall. What has happened? Is there any treatment for this before all the tree is completely defoliated?
Do you live in an area that has cedar apple rust infection — an area where there are both “cedars” like Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) and also apple trees or some relative of them?
My serviceberries (Amelanchier, also called shadbush), as well as any other rose relative, are affected by this cycle, so I suspect that’s what is up. You can read about it in this blog post I did a year or so ago:
We just planted a new serviceberry this past weekend, and it’s developed some yellow leaves with something that looks like it could be cedar apple rust. How worried should we be?
Most years, mine defoliate after getting a touch of “fall” color in July or August. I didn’t know about this potential problem when I planted them…
They live, they get bigger and bigger, they produce great blooms and are lovely foliage-wise until then. But many years, oops, the defoliate early. Not deadly, just ugly sometimes.
My Serviceberry has also come down with rust this summer. I do have man yRed Cedars on our farm and cannot eliminate them so should I just give up trying to grow Amelancier? My Apples are also a disaster.
Gardenwitch- the thing to do would be to try planting a rust resistant variety. However, when I tried finding Amelanchier cultivars listed as rust resistant, I didn’t have much luck. Rainbow Pillar was listed by some merchants online as rust resistant, but in Dirr’s Manual of Woody Plants it is only listed as mildew resistant, so I am doubtful. Do you know what cultivar you have?
Does anyone have experience with a cultivar that seems to be rust resistant? I would love to plant this in my yard too, but I am surrounded by Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) here and see plenty of rust both on the cedars and crabapples on my block.
You might also want to look into rust resistant apple varieties. I’m not sure where you are located, but your cooperative extension probably has a listing of rust resistant varieties that are appropriate for your area. Here is Cornell’s Fact Sheet about cedar apple rust. The second page lists resistant and susceptible varieties.