NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Is this normal? Old apple tree...  (Read 837 times)

SafeHaven

  • Joined Mar 2017
Is this normal? Old apple tree...
« on: August 05, 2017, 10:42:49 pm »
I noticed thesebumpy, nodule-y growth on an old apple tree I've got at the place I've just bought. I wasn't sure if it was something I should worry about or not.
Voss Electric Fence

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Is this normal? Old apple tree...
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2017, 07:03:30 am »
Canker. From abrasions or bad luck re pruning times/broken branches. It depends where on branches and how extensive on the tree the areas are. Sometines you can cut it all away (protecting new cut edge and planning the cut time), sometimes you live with it and sometimes if affecting the main stem you admit defeat and plnat a new tree.
I got hit with some last year on my espaliers where i hadn't noticed some ties too tight.. going to have to replace one tree but the rest were prune-able although it's set those trees back re shaping them.

SafeHaven

  • Joined Mar 2017
Re: Is this normal? Old apple tree...
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2017, 07:38:28 am »
Thank you! From what I could see, it's pretty extensive on this tree. The tree looks pretty ancient. It's got a few small apples of unknown variety on it, but not many. Seems a shame to cut it down, but equally, it's inconvently placed by a drive where it's hitting even low vehicles. So maybe it's a blessing in disguise. Maybe I'll try to determine the variety first to see if I should graft it to keep it going in case it's an unusual variety?

SafeHaven

  • Joined Mar 2017
Re: Is this normal? Old apple tree...
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2017, 10:28:08 am »
Stop press! Just seen a picture of burr knots, and it's definitely the same thing. Apparently some apples are more prone to them. This tree is covered in them. Doesn't change the fact it's blocking the drive, etc, so probably still needs drastic pruning.

New question, this tree isn't exactly burdened with fruit as it is... what would happen if I cut it back quite hard this time of year, on the side of the drive (which is quite dark anyway, the other side faces the sun). Will it likely kill the whole tree? Or just affect its fruiting for a while?

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Is this normal? Old apple tree...
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2017, 11:09:44 am »
we had a late frost which damaged the blossom so many of my apples are low to zero on fruit this year..only those really sheltered or late blossoming made fruit.
A fair chance that a hard cut-back wouldn't hurt. I recll helping my dad cut back a mature apple tree to just the first forks and lift and move it to our garden (we could just about drag it between us) and that's still doing well 50+ years later.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Is this normal? Old apple tree...
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2017, 12:22:07 pm »
If you do cut it back very hard, you will get a huge amount of water shoots growing.  You're best to cut out only one third of all growth in a year, so it take 3 years to cut it right back safely.  This leaves enough leaves to nourish the tree, but would not force so much new growth.  Ideally, you should do it evenly over the tree.
If you do cut out some of the burr growth, a wood carver would love it for making something small but beautiful such as egg cups - the patterns in the grain are perfect for carving and turning, and I would think unusual for apple.  Leave some of the branch either side then store in dry but airy conditions, for the wood to season.
The rest would be lovely on the fire, as it smells good.
I wouldn't try to move such an old tree.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

SafeHaven

  • Joined Mar 2017
Re: Is this normal? Old apple tree...
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2017, 01:40:32 pm »
There's no way I could move it. It's ginormous at the trunk, and seems to have a symbiotic relationship with an elder tree. They seem quite entwined at the trunk. I did cut just a few branches off that were scraping the cars and maybe one limb about 2" in diameter, just to get it out of the way of cars. I'll consider carefully before cutting any more.

I gave the cuttings to my rabbits who are happily chewing off the bark. But I'll bear in mind the patterned wood and firewood. I hadn't thought of that. Thank you!

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Is this normal? Old apple tree...
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2017, 09:28:32 pm »
Sorry, wasn't actually suggesting you moved the tree...just saying how agressive one can be and get away with it at times. In theory if one were to move a really large tree then one digs around and cuts through only part of the roots over 2-3 years and also gradually prunes the top back before the move. But in the case of the tree we shifted it was one with super apples and the owner had sold that part of his plot for new housing. No choice but chance it in one go.

 

Apple tree

Started by Carl f k

Replies: 7
Views: 2162
Last post February 23, 2013, 10:54:38 pm
by HesterF
Apple tree help please!

Started by Mel

Replies: 19
Views: 7277
Last post November 20, 2013, 11:43:55 pm
by HesterF
Cutting from apple tree

Started by Wildman

Replies: 3
Views: 6200
Last post May 04, 2008, 09:32:04 pm
by Wildman
Very old apple tree in Ayrshire

Started by Paul Mack

Replies: 2
Views: 1633
Last post November 09, 2011, 11:40:27 pm
by Plantoid
Apple tree from seed

Started by harrybow

Replies: 4
Views: 1521
Last post June 10, 2012, 11:59:44 am
by sabrina

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Assist Animal Care Services Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Little Peckers

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2018. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS