Phitzer Shrubs - Knowledgebase Question

Cherry Hills Village, Co
Question by sylpro15
May 25, 2010
We have many Phitzers in our yard. Last year, they began to die, and they are looking worse every day. We live near Denver, Colorado. Everyone in our neighborhood is experiencing the same problem. Can you tell me what is happening and what we can do to stop it? Everyday, there are more rust-colored clumps amongst the green branches. My e-mail address is

Answer from NGA
May 25, 2010


According to the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, the problem is Juniper-hawthorn rust. It is a fungal disease that requires a juniper and an alternate host to complete its lifecycle. Alternate hosts are apple, crabapple, hawthorn and mountain ash. Spores produced on a juniper only infect the alternate host, and spores produced on the alternate host only infect a juniper. Cultural controls include removing juniper galls before they produce spores and separating junipers from potential alternate hosts. A few hundred yards separation is generally sufficient for practical Garden purposes. The danger markedly decreases with distance, especially when separated by a windbreak.

Fungicides such as Bayleton and Daconil 2787 applied to both the junipers and the alternate hosts at seven-to-ten day intervals, beginning at bloom, are effective.

Hope this information is helpful.

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