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Country Discussion Topics
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Old apple trees
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Sarah    Posted 04-08-2003 at 09:53:09       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I moved into a house with tons of land and an apple orchard with about 15 trees in it. The trees haven't been pruned or touched for about 20 years, is there anything i can do to bring them back. i also have a peach tree on the property, about 3 years old that was never really taken care of. Help!!


sarah    Posted 04-09-2003 at 06:00:04       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Tanks everyone for your replies, i will try your suggestions.


wvbill    Posted 04-09-2003 at 03:25:03       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Fertilize and keep the other shade trees from shading them out.shade trees will kill your apple trees. don't worry about to many apples as you can make cider,feed to hogs and deer and sell excess apple to deer hunters.


Randy    Posted 04-08-2003 at 13:05:58       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Don't take off too much at one time, that is hard on a tree. Cut the 3 ds off, diseased, dead, and dying first. Then start looking for branches that cross over each other, where they rub will let in problems. Prefer to have the branches heading out as opposed to heading into the tree. When the fruit appears I thin them out also. Take your time and soon you should have healthy trees and great fruit. Good luck.


ol Henry    Posted 04-08-2003 at 12:58:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
Don't forget to save some of the wood for your smoker, apple is one of my favorites for smoking meat.


Larry 8N75381    Posted 04-08-2003 at 11:59:30       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Sarah,

I just wandered over here from the Ford N tractor Boardmy usual Board. And I had to tell you, "be sure you know how to prune properly!" I had a GREAT old apple tree in the yard in my first house. BUT the old man I bought the house from (original owner) had prumed off a large limb out about a foot from the trunk. Of course, that stub died and since the trunk bark could not grow out to cover it, it rotted. That let rot back into the main trunk. No matter how I tried I just could not stop the rot in the main trunk. I think that helped cause other limb loss in the tree. Don't know now if it is still standing, I moved about 8 years after I bought it. But if it was like the old orchard trees at the farm I bought, the rot eventually gets so bad that the strength of the trunk is compromised to the point that wind or ice take it down even though it is still producing fruit. One tree at the farm had apples on the setion that fell for some three years. It fell so that the bark on one side was still intact.

Get a book so you can be sure of what I'm telling you. Where the trunk bark and the bark from the TOP of the limb meet, there will be a slightly raised ridge in the bark, the collar. When you prune off ANY branch or limb, you should cut down from right at the collar all most straight with the larger limb or trunk as your FINAL cut. On large limbs, you first need to cut out a distance equal to three to five times the diameter of the limb being cut. Make a cut 1/4 the way thru from the bottom and then cut from the top out a little way from the lower cut. The lower cut keeps the weight of the limb form ripping a strip of bark off on the underside that will often tear in to the remaining limb/trunk bark well below the collar making a larger wound that the tree has to grow over. With the weight off the base of the limb you can then make the clean final cut that the tree will quickly grow bark over to heal the wound.

Try this on a tree you are going to eventually cut down. Cut one limb as I have told you to. Then cut another as close to the same size as possible, but on it leave a stub that has a lenght of about one and half times the limb diameter. Now watch how the tree responds to the two different cuttings. You should see the correct cut heal over in about as many years as the limb is inches in diameter. Usually the other cut limb will die - some trees are hardy enought that they will start growth from the end of the bad cut anyway. But even then you will see the cut takes much longer, if ever, to cover it's self over.

Regards,
Larry


screaminghollow    Posted 04-08-2003 at 11:15:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
My parents bought an old neglected orchard when I was a kid. It took alot of work, but during the first winter Dad pruned the heck out of em. Had a lot of apples the first year and even more the second. There were a few heirloom trees there that he tried to save. One was old and busted off at the top. (It gave the sweetest apples I ever tasted. Snow white inside. A few old folks called it a "sugar" apple. Folks came every October to get some of those apples. As the tree slowly died, Dad and another guy tried desperately to graft some branches to other trees, but couldn't get them to take. That tree finally bit the dust after being hit by lightning.) Unless you plan to sell some or figure you like the different varieties, I'd concentrate on saving two or three of the trees. We always threw away so many apples even though we sold about half of them. There's only so much apple sauce, apple butter and cider that a few families can use.


TB    Posted 04-08-2003 at 10:12:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
It is probibly alittel late for pruning this year but a good pruning next winter and some fertelizer the trees would stand a good chance of being very productive.


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