What in the World? Non-edible with Tentacles

Yes, another alien-looking creature continues our What-in-the-World Wednesday series. This one is inedible, hangs from nearby trees and attacks one of our favorite fruits.

Here’s another picture of it. These pod-like balls are about 2 inches in diameter. Both are the same creatures; the orange stringy one on the left is what they look like after they gets wet and all the little tentacles come out. EWWWW!!!! They ARE pretty slimy and gross looking.

Have you guessed it? Have you even seen or heard of such an oddball thing before?

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This is the Cedar-Apple-Rust gall. Sometimes its called just Cedar Rust. It’s a fungus that lives through the winter all closed up hanging from a cedar tree and then, with the Spring rains, orange tentacles expand out of these dry galls and release spores. The spores spend the next part of their life causing leaf spot and fruit spots on apple trees within a couple mile radius. It can also cause a massive fruit drop. This pesky fungus can be found wherever Eastern Cedar and apples live; it can affect all types of U.S. apple cultivars except the Delicious.

Our beautiful cedar trees started showing these strange orange blobs in 2010 and we were hoping that with minimal fungicides, we could spare our Granny Smith apples. Alas, it was not to be. We had a bumper crop full of nasty spots. This made the apples really susceptible to the wasps and yellow-jackets (Yes, wasps eat fruit.) I’m sad the cedar trees are about to be cut down, but I fear they may be hindering our neighbor’s fruit trees. They are beauties, but we put edible landscaping first at our house.

Out! Out! Damn Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae!

7 thoughts on “What in the World? Non-edible with Tentacles

    1. Thanks so much for commenting, Debbie. Yes, it was a bizarre find in my front yard; even worse to discover it was infesting my apple trees. Love your blog, but why say “wrinkled” when you are so young? I suppose I need to read the archives to find out. Best, Val

  1. Okay, after around two inches of rain last night, the cedar rust is in full swing right now. There is orange goo everywhere in the cedar forests, which are plenty here. I grow apples as well for personal use, and aside from spotted leaves, it doesn’t really seem to bother our fruit very much. I’ve been observing this for years now. What I wonder is are the galls on the cedar trees edible? I recently spoke to a local old timer, SE KS, and he claimed to have eaten one!! Looks like there is very little to no information about the edibility of these strange things, which is too bad. It would be interesting to see what they taste like, while knocking back the problems produced by it. Where did you get your info that they are inedible? Please? I imagine they are woody, but if prepared properly, they might be quite interesting, so long as they are not poisonous.

    1. Hi Clark,

      Thanks for stopping by even though my website is in transition and looks awful at the moment, I’m glad you could find your way around. Check back after the website redux.

      So, about the galls. I have not read that they are edible or non-edible. I take the default that if I can’t find it online as edible, I won’t promote it as such. The galls turn hard as rocks, but I can’t imagine even cooked fungus tasting good – oh, wait! I love mushrooms, but these are far from time-tested mycelium. Considering what they slowly did to our apple tree, I’m inclined to burn them as wood. We ended up having to cut down our two gorgeous cedars because the apples were huge and plentiful last year, but largely inedible due to this systemic problem. We cut away the majority of every single apple as bad, but still made delicious pies with the good chunks. Very labor intensive. Now that the cedar trees are gone, we are hoping for a great apple crop this summer. Although our neighbors have cedars. I’ll keep you posted. And I just can’t recommend slimy orange tentacles as food. Have an apple instead! Hahah! Thanks for your note.

  2. …I just read in your response to Clark Neill from last April above that you did eat your apples when they had been infected, by making pies with the nicer chunks. That is very helpful – thanks for posting this information!

  3. I have a entire forest of cedars with orange infestations and one apple tree. If I remove the apple tree will the disease stop? I love my cedar trees! Please help… thanks

    1. Jesse, I would be interested to know how your one apple tree fared against an “entire forest of cedars with orange infestations.” We discovered one small cedar tree that missed our chain saw in our wooded lot and it has the orange infestation. We are waiting for our current apple crop to finalize at the end of July, but initial green apple slicings show something systemic in it. They look SOOO pretty on the outside though. 🙁 The search continues for a solution, but that little cedar’s days are numbered.

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