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Severely Damaged Apple Tree. Can I save it?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by ben1832, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. ben1832

    ben1832 New Member

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    Hi everyone. First time poster. I bought a home recently and there is a very large apple tree in the backyard. It produces a lot of edible apples, and even though it causes a mess, I would love to keep it. Next year I want to use it to make cider. There's only one problem, it is severely damaged, and I'm not sure if it can be saved.

    I would like your professional opinions. It looks like it had a third trunk but that cracked off. I should also note the tree does have carpenter ants. I read they only eat rotted wood, so hopefully they won't damage the good part of the tree.

    Any advice would be helpful. How can I treat the open wound? Should I just cut it down? Is it likely to collapse? I know this is hard to answer without seeing it in person, but some best guesses would help me decide if I should keep it or take it down.

    Thanks everyone in advance!

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  2. Raintree

    Raintree Penguins are tasty

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    Keep it, support the weak crotch with a cable, prune to reduce weight during winter time. Let nature run it's coarse, seen worse & older Apples that are still kicking.
     
  3. Raintree

    Raintree Penguins are tasty

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    Dupe
     
  4. Walt41

    Walt41 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I am by no means a tree expert like others on here but that looks almost like a large cherry tree I have here, I used those ant bait things to rid it of tenants and then took the leaf blower to it to remove any loose material and sealed it up with construction adhesive because I had a case of it that got wet and I didn't want to use it in my house build....that was four years ago and it is doing fine. I would remove it if there is a chance it could fall on anything of value, in my case if the tree were to fall it would just be in one of the ponds.
     
  5. Oldmaple

    Oldmaple ArboristSite Operative

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    +1 on previous comments. Thin, reduce to lighten load. Keep it unless it is going to fall on something valuable. The ants are just mining out the already rotted wood so they are not causing any additional structural weakness. Apples are prone to decay so enjoy it for as long as you have it.
     
  6. ben1832

    ben1832 New Member

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    Thanks for the help everyone. I was thinking the same thing. The tree is very top heavy and needs a good trim. Hopefully next fall I can make some good cider! :)
     
  7. old_soul

    old_soul ArboristSite Operative

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    keep trimmed low to reduce weight of apples and the tendency of physics to split those two leads apart

    It is common for apples to rot at base, in this case you have structural issues also to deal with (as the third trunk has already split off)

    Do NOT fill will adhesive as someone said above. That will only trap moisture inside the crotch. :bang::bang::bang::bang::bang: Better to just leave open as exposure to the air will keep it somewhat dry.........
     
  8. Toronado3800

    Toronado3800 ArboristSite Member

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    I have a peach tree which no doubt had base rot and toppled previous to me moving in a decade ago that is still growing and producing fruit. It is the neatest oddest thing to see a live tree laying on its side growing.

    Now the year it dies no one will be suprised but hey it is no hazard to anyone.

    Being a fruit tree and one you plan to eat off of I would go easy on the chemicals. I have another post debating the merits of sealers (I support them on large wounds). But in this case I question how far they get transported through the tree in this case to the fruit.

    Ants near wood annoys me. Being an apple tree you might have reason to spray to improve yeild. If that kills the ants so be it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  9. old_soul

    old_soul ArboristSite Operative

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    "easy on the chemicals"

    I used to work at an orchard in my younger days. You would be amazed how much chemicals are applied to fruits and veggies. Apples get sprayed 6-8 times each season
     

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