Jellies invade Pontiac trees

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Kate Aley

I've always wanted to write a sensationalistic headline like that

The jellies are real however.

This month, reports have come in of juniper trees hung with these strange, amazing and reasonably disgusting-looking star-like jelly shapes: a fungus? a flower? Let's ask Dr. Internet.

Turns out these weird formations are a symptom of Juniper-Hawthorne rust, a plant disease closely related to Cedar-Apple rust.

According to Rob Sproule of SalisburyGreenhouse.com (a gardening website from Alberta), infected junipers (or cedars with a related condition) become hung with gelatinous orange blobs along their branches, generally if the month of June has been especially wet. 

"They look like orange octopuses, with slimy tentacles called teliohorns dangling from the main gooey mass," writes Sproule. "Each teliohorn has thousands of spores inside of it just waiting to catch a ride on the breeze and ride through the garden.  When they mature in mid-summer, the dispersing spores can only latch on to a specific secondary host. In the case of Juniper-Hawthorne rust, the spores travel from their primary host (junipers) to their secondary hosts (hawthorne, mountain ash and apples)."

According to the Salisbury website, junipers are not damaged by the attack. However, if it gets to apple trees, it can lead to 'significant defoliation and reduced fruit yield'. 

"The secondary hosts don’t acquire the gelatinous teliohorns. They get rust spots on their leaves that are orange with dark red to black centers. In the late summer, a different kind of spore blows from the secondary host back to the primary, where it lurks over winter until it can re-emerge in the spring," writes Sproule.

Luckily, there is an relatively easy fix for this.

"Whether you can catch the growing gall [pictured below] or find the unmistakable orange blob the next spring, it’s important to remove the growth before it spores and damages the secondary hosts. Cut all infected branches eight inches from the growth. Burn the fungus and disinfect your tools with a light bleach solution," Sproule advises.

"If it’s already on your apples, hawthorne or ash trees, remove as many infected leaves as feasible. The fewer leaves there are, the fewer spores will find their way back to the primary host to continue the life cycle. As a precaution, if you find the orange blobs you could sprinkle some sulfur dust on the leaves.The best defense is to keep the primary and secondary hosts separate."

Let me know if you've seen any of these hideous delights and, if so, what you plan to do about it.

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

Warming up for Christmas at the Santa Claus Parade

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Kate Aley

Once more the Quyon Lions' Club Santa Claus Parade, held Saturday December 9, was a great success. Warmly-dressed families lined the streets to enjoy the decorated floats, horses and of course, St. Nick himself. As the Beach Barn is conspicuously absent this year, the parade's normal route was reversed, with participants gathering at the Ste. Marie's Catholic church parking lot and walking down the hill to the intersection with Clarendon. From there, the parade continued to the Onslow Elementary School gym where hot food and drinks were served as kids lined up to speak to Santa about a few important matters.

Slippery sh*t: unidentified effluent causes accident

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Kate Aley

A serious single-vehicle roll-over was caused early morning on December 4 by a deep slick of some kind of waste matter spilled on Highway 148 near Parker Road in Luskville. Pools of what appeared to be septic waste or liquid animal manure were at least two or three meters in length and possibly 4 cm in depth, according to witnesses.

Christmas House Tour lights up the night

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Kate Aley

The houses on the Quyon Pastoral Charge Christmas House Tour warmly received 150 visitors this year. Five family homes in Quyon and Luskville were decorated to perfection to the appreciation of all. Above, the Draper homestead in Luskville.

Scheer in Pontiac: We shouldn’t let the politics of envy divide one group of Canadians against another

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Thomas Soulière

SHAWVILLE — The leader of the Conservative Party of Canada spent the first day of December visiting the federal riding of Pontiac with stops in Campbell’s Bay, Fort Coulonge and Shawville to speak to farmers, small business owners and voters about the CPC’s position on the Liberal government’s tax policy and to show the Conservative’s strong support of supply management.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas: Luskville craft bazaar

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by: 

Kate Aley

Slippery driving and chilly weather did not deter participants from attending the annual craft bazaar and breakfast event at the Luskville Community Centre on Sunday, November 19th.

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