July 18, 1997

Edibility of Ornamental Tree Fruit

Ornamental trees, such as crabapples and chokecherries, are planted in the home landscape for their flowers or colorful foliage. While chiefly ornamental, these trees also produce fruit resembling those on fruit trees. As the fruit matures, questions concerning their edibility often arise.

Hawthorn Rust

Hawthorn rust is caused by the fungus Gymnosporangium globosum. 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.

Physiological Disorders of Tomatoes

The tomato is the most popular vegetable in the home garden. Though widely grown, tomatoes are subject to a number of diseases and physiological disorders. Environmental stresses produce several common physiological disorders of tomatoes.


The term "chigger" is a common name used to describe the larval stage of a certain group of mites. These mites are parasitic on warm-blooded animals during their larval development and produce bites that cause intense itching and the formation of small, reddish welts. Chiggers are active from spring to late fall but are most numerous in early summer when weeds, grass and other vegetative undergrowth are at their heaviest.