noobgardener
Full Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:56 pm
Location: Southern VA

Gravestein Apple Tree covered in vines etc. help!

Hello all!

I'm working little by little to whip our backyard into shape. During the process I came upon this tree. We have Virginia Creeper growing up over our fence and I'm working on cutting it all down but last years storm threw a lot of the vines over the fence and entangled themselves with this tree.

It seems the people that lived here before us were trying to train it against this little wooden fence thing. I didn't know what it was but when I was pulling stuff up today I saw a label for a Gravestein Apple tree. Here's some pics and then some questions.

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So....a couple questions.

1. Can this tree withstand heavy pruning? The vines are so entangled that I'm not sure I can save all of it, especially the very top.
2. Should I try to continue training it against the frame?
3. What do I do about that bark looking kinda yucky? Is it repairable?
Southern VA
Clay soil
Overhauling an overgrown garden.

JONA878
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1014
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:14 am
Location: SUSSEX

Re: Gravestein Apple Tree covered in vines etc. help!

Hi NG.

From your picture it is obvious that at some time the tree was pruned to be an espalier. However the top of the tree hqas been allowed to get away and has taken over the whole plant.
It can still be trained and pruned back...but you will have to remove a lot of that large growth at the top of the tree as it will continue to take the strength out of the lower structure....where you really need the growth.
Don't worry about the bark...it doesn't look too bad at all.

Gravenstein is a German bred apple from Schleswig-Holstein...although some say it originated in Italy.
It went to Denmark in 1669 and then on to England in 1819 frfom there over to the 'New World'.
The fruit is dual purpose...eating and cooking.Season fro l;ate Sept to Dec. Picking time late August.
The trees are naturaly vigorous and are generaly not thought that good for a small garden because of that.
So you may have a job to hold it in check...but have a go. Nothing to loose eh!!
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

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