Cedar-Hawthorn Rust

Plants Affected:

Images of This Plant Disease:

Image of hawthorn rust on the top of a leaf

Hawthorn rust on the top of a leaf

Image of hawthorn rust on the bottom of a leaf

Hawthorn rust on the bottom of a leaf


Hawthorn rust is caused by the fungus Gymnosporangium globosum.

Signs and Symptoms

The rust fungus causes small yellow spots on hawthorn leaves. These spots eventually enlarge and often have a reddish border. The centers of these yellow spots later show small black spots. On the lower leaf surface, directly above the spots, small brownish tube-shaped structures form. Infected leaves may eventually yellow and drop prematurely from the tree.

Disease Cycle

This disease is also referred to as cedar-hawthorn rust because the fungus requires two hosts to complete its life cycle.

The cedar-hawthorn rust fungus overwinters on junipers or red cedars in round, brown galls on leaves and twigs. During rainy spring weather, these galls produce bright orange, gelatinous tendrils that contain fungal spores. These spores are then blown to nearby hawthorn trees. Spores may be blown several miles. Fungal spores produced in infected hawthorn leaves in late summer are then blown back to the juniper host, completing the life cycle.

Type of Sample Needed for Diagnosis and Confirmation 

Collect 3 to 5 twigs and fruits. For further information go to sample collection 


If desired, fungicides can be used to protect hawthorn leaves from infection. Labeled products

See this article for more information about cedar rusts.