Is this old apple tree beyond saving (I hope not)?

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by Engelbert, Oct 31, 2019.

  1. Engelbert

    Engelbert Gardener

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    Hi

    We moved to a new house this year and there is an apple tree behind the house that seems in quite a bad way. We were told it fell/collapsed a couple of years ago; hence the funny angle! There are so many branches on the tree. All of the lower ones are covered in moss and lichen, and a lot of them are weak and brittle and snap easily. There is what looks like some younger growth in the higher sections. In terms of apples, we had perhaps 10 or so this year. By all accounts it has been very productive in the past.

    So, any tips on how to rescue the poor thing?

    Many thanks

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    • Janet mahay

      Janet mahay Gardener

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      Hi trees can be strong although they look weak but as regards your tree i am not sure but maybe you could try pruning it in spring before new growth
      Don't be too savage at first. Anything ancient deserves respect lol also you can plant some fennel by the tree as Fennel attracts bees and at the same time deters unwanted pests, particularly pests that spend part of their life cycle in the ground and water it
      Not too often, but when you do give it a thorough soaking around the root line. But like i said it i am not sure about your tree so Maybe someone on the forum can better advise
       
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        Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
      • Loofah

        Loofah Well used member

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        I have a couple in a new place that are in a very similar situation. Give it some air by clearing some things nearby and then thin out the branches. Is there any way of righting the tree (putting it back upright) or is it pretty solid in it's current position? I'd also check around the roots as its fallen over as they'll likely not have enough soil around them; if you can't right the tree then pack soil in and around the gaps. It'll look weird but tree should be ok.
        All the lichen suggests it's in a pretty shaded site? Try to get some more light in if possible
         
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        • Steve R

          Steve R Soil Furtler

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          A gardener that I have saved on my you tube page is one called Stephen Hayes, he has hundreds of videos covering all aspects of maintaining an apple orchard, I came across whilst seeking grafting info. Anyway, here is a group of his videos that will suit your present predicament "Restoring old apple trees" restoring old apple trees - YouTube

          Hope this helps you a little, and it is worth a look for anyone else with an interest too.

          Steve...:)
           
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          • Loofah

            Loofah Well used member

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            I'll be having a look at that!
             
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            • Loofah

              Loofah Well used member

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              The host pants a lot don't he! Think this could have been covered in a single video, it's basically giving the same advice - remove dead, diseased, crossing and damaged wood and let air in. Didn't like the way he removed massive branches in one hit as dragging them through the remaining branches leads to further damage - I'd prefer more chopping but with same result. Also do the undercut before the main cut but certainly the videos cover most things I think

              Just a note - summer pruning for shape and winter pruning for regrowth
               
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              • Mike Allen

                Mike Allen Total Gardener

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                Well at least it will take your mind off the election etc. Jokeingly. Just imagine if we as gardeners could take cuttings and propagate politicians. So here we go. Boris. Vigorous growth,, bold very forcefull etc. Has some perhaps not so well liked aspects. So lets see. If I could pollinate him with, ???????????????? I wonder what the result would be.??????
                 
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                • Steve R

                  Steve R Soil Furtler

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                  Think Boris does all his own polinating, still, it could prove to be an interesting idea cutting him up to propagate more Johnsons....

                  Steve...:)
                   
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                  • Janet mahay

                    Janet mahay Gardener

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                    Hi the mind boggles lol
                     
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                    • Mike Allen

                      Mike Allen Total Gardener

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                      Now now Janet luv, remember you are of 'the Fairer sex' careful with those secateures, 'OUCH'
                       
                    • Janet mahay

                      Janet mahay Gardener

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                      Hi mike ok think l leave boris cuttings alone lol those secateures are ouch indeed
                       
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