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Young tree, base of trunk recovering from fungus

Posted: Fri May 06, 2011 9:43 pm
by tms917
Gala apple tree, located in eastern Wisconsin (hope this is the right forum!).
I estimate about 7-8 years old.
Approx 4.5" diameter.

3 years ago, rabbits were chewing the bark from near the base. I thought I read somewhere to put aluminum foil around the trunk, so I did. A short while later (I don't recall how long it was there), I removed it, to find a sad looking situation - looked fungal. I thought it would fix itself, and cried a bit inside due to my seemingly foolish move. I've attached some photos of it today.

My questions: Will the tree be OK? Is there anything wrong with it now? Anything I can do to improve it?
PS - it produces LOTS of small-ish apples, the branches sag significantly. Any additional comments on that?

Thanks!
Tom

Re: Young tree, base of trunk recovering from fungus

Posted: Sat May 07, 2011 7:28 am
by Drew Dubious
Do you know what rootstock it is on?
Do you observe delayed bud break, leaf discoloration, and/or twig dieback?
Also, have you had extreme/excessive water this spring?


I do not want to jump the gun, because it could just be one of those odd shapes that grow when a tree has a coverin. But collar rot is what I am looking at, worst case scenario.

Re: Young tree, base of trunk recovering from fungus

Posted: Tue May 10, 2011 12:43 pm
by tms917
Rootstock: not sure, it was planted when I bought the house. I may still have the original purchase tag (said Gala Apple and the price on it) - would that mention the rootstock?

Delayed bud break: Is that literally what it sounds like - buds that break open beyond their expected timing? I'm not sure if this exists, how can I tell?

Leaf discoloration: No, seems normal

Twig dieback: No, seems normal

Excessive water: No, last year was significant, but this year is standard or below average

I imagined that having the foil around the bark when it was partially torn away from the rabbits retained water against the bare trunk, causing issues. This may not be the true case, but it's what I first thought of when I removed the foil.

Thanks!
Tom

Re: Young tree, base of trunk recovering from fungus

Posted: Tue May 10, 2011 1:45 pm
by Drew Dubious
Price tags usually do not have rootstock info unless it was a really thoughtful nursery :(


I would just observe for a while and see what happens. Also, you might try thinin out the tree's fruit by 1/3 ish to try and increase fruit size and quality.