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Apple Tree with Severe Bend - Can it Be Fixed?

I moved to another house and found an Apple tree in the garden with a strongly bended trunk. Is it worth saving or better to replace it? I just pruned it, should I prune it more or differently? Thanks!

Full Member
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:40 am
Location: nepa z5a

Well, for starters, I'd remove that big vertical... if it's allowed to grow and crop it will put even more stress on the bent "leader". Looking at the base of the tree it is hard to see if the rootstock is what has developed into the tree or not. That double growth in the area of the graft point is trouble...creating bark inclusion and a weak joint that will eventually split. The main branch bark also looks like is , or has in the past, split just to the right of the support posts.The tree is most likely bent due to allowing a full crop on a weak, or undersized, leader. Unless the apples are a great heirloom variety, which can be grafted over onto a new root stock, I'd take the tree down and start over with a bareroot tree,or trees, from a reputable nursery supplier...one or more varieties you like. Be mindful of cross pollination requirements.
Poor tree, sadly neglected at best.

Greener Thumb
Posts: 812
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:11 am
Location: Sussex. England

I'm inclined to think the same way as Geosan....but. If you have the time and the inclination there is one other thing you could try.
First that upright does indeed need to go.
Now...the tree has bent over at the perfect height to turn it into a half espalier. The one problem is that it is facing into the garden and needs to be pulled round to run along the fence.
I think that if you put a strong string or cord on the tree you could slowly pull it into position. A little each day would gradually bring it round.
I know it's a lot of fuss....but I hate to see a fruit tree lost when it might be saved with a little effort.
Anyway...what's to lose...as it is it is pretty useless.

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