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3 year old tree snapped clean off at source - any salvation?

Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:22 am
by Jase.lock
I have a 3 year old 7ft apple teed that I brought on nicely, came home yesterday to find it on the deck snapped clean off, it was windy but its endured worse, is it game over or could I treat it like a cutting and get it rooting, I know it won't produce for a long while but if I can keep the size and bring it rather than start at a 1ft tree again? Any advice although I fear the worst!

Thanks in advance


Re: 3 year old tree snapped clean off at source - any salvat

Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:48 pm
by dmtaylor
I think it depends on whether it snapped off above or below the graft union. Every good fruit tree is grafted to a good rootstock, within a few inches of the ground. The rootstock, if allowed to grow, will eventually produce apples, but they are typically not very good to eat. But if your tree snapped off above this graft, then you can allow the wood above the graft union to grow into a new tree, and still get the good apples that you intended. Of course, this will take a few years, but if you are willing to wait, then all is not lost. Alternatively, if you want to graft a different variety to your rootstock, then now would be just the perfect time to do that. If you wanted, you might even graft 2 or 3 different kinds of apples onto your rootstock, and have somewhat of a "fruit salad" tree. It is all up to you and what you are willing to risk. But as long as those roots are still in the ground, you will still have an apple tree. It will just take time to grow up again is all.

Re: 3 year old tree snapped clean off at source - any salvat

Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:30 am
by OrangePippin-Richard
I agree, if the break is above the graft union you will probably be OK.

If you have windy conditions, or if the tree is supporting an increasing load of ripening apples, this sort of thing can happen. Try supporting the tree with a stake etc.