...we had to pull over to investigate.
Juniperus virginiana: ...when the staminate yellow-brown cones are swelling and starting to release pollen male trees take on a rather ugly yellow-brown color and are easily distinguished from female trees...
- Manual of Wood Landscape Plants, Michael A. Dirr -
Redcedar: Best seasons: ...Late spring for the telial horns of rust galls, which are as bright as orange Christmas lights...
- Native Trees for North American Landscapes, Guy Sternberg with Jim Wilson -
What we thought we might find and were glad we did not was a heavy crop of rust galls. Heavy rust on junipers would likely preface a bad year for that rust's alternate hosts, including crabapples, hawthorns and serviceberries. We did find some galls (above) but they were still dormant; the infection cycle's about to begin but not yet underway this spring.
Junipers' role and controlling the problem on the alternate hosts:
University of Minnesota's Cedar Apple Rust and Other Gymnosporangium Rusts:
West Virginia University's Cedar-Apple Rust: