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Rotting apple tree??

Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:25 pm
by Darren495
Hi, I have an apple tree in my garden I'm not sure as to the type of apple tree, the apples are edible. The tree is in desperate need of immediate attention.
The tree has numberous holes where low level branches have been cut back to the trunk some 3 years ago you can push a stick into the tree as its very soft and seeps liquid, inside the these cavities is a breeding ground for snails,slugs, and wood lice.

The bark is very brittle and will peel off when scratched at.

The tree produces quality apples in spite of all the above and till now have had no issues with creatures getting in the apples. I aim to put a 'pheromone trap' on and was thinking of installing a trap at the base of the tree to prevent creatures climbing up and into the tree.
Does anybody know how to make a trap and what materials to use, I've read to make it a sticky trap and burn it in the winter??

I believe the tree needs a good prune aswell but im unsure where to start?

I live in Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK

Any advise will be greatly appreciated.

Re: Rotting apple tree??

Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:31 am
by Hugh
I would be inclined to excavate the holes, removing all dead wood. I would then remove living wood, if necessary, to open-up the areas so they will drain. (Imagine a bowl where you have cut away part of one side so that it would no longer hold water.) This will aerate the holes and discourage insects and pathogens from inhabiting the wounds. I doubt this will weaken the trunk, as the dead wood is not providing strength, and any living wood removed will be minor. I would then spray the holes with a broad-spectrum fungicide. I would not fill the holes with cement or any material, as moisture will find it’s way into the wound. The alternative, given time, is a dead tree. Good luck…

Re: Rotting apple tree??

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:24 pm
by Darren495
Thanks for the reply, I have removed all deadwood and opened up the holes, the tree seems to be drying out. I applied a fungicide to the affected areas.

I've placed a glue trap 2ft up from floor level to prevent unwanted guests climbing up the tree.

Can I cover the holes or fill them in with anything as I'm worried pests may get back in and start destroying the tree again?

Any replies greatly accepted.

Re: Rotting apple tree??

Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:54 am
by Hugh
I would leave the holes open. If you try to seal them, the tree will grow and or the filler material will shrink or expand and gaps will develop, and you will be faced with the same problem again. Years ago, concrete was used to fill holes in trees until it was realized a good seal was impossible and the filler made things worst.

Re: Rotting apple tree??

Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:47 am
by PA_Docent
Trim out any suckers (branches growing straight up), then branches that grow towards the center of the tree. I cut back branches to a bud on the underside of the branch to provoke new growth on the outside of the tree and I have been successful with this so far; however, I would ask someone else on the board about this for your case. I believe that reducing some of the canopy will give you tree added energy to provide food while the tree is recovering.