Apple – Saving an Old One

Q: I bought an old farm that has two apple trees left on it from an old orchard. I’m trying to prune both back to health, but discovered a rotting wound at the base of one of them. I dug some of the rot out. Is there anything I can do to save this tree?

A: This is a tough one.

If you love the apples from the tree, watch online videos on grafting and graft some buds or twigs onto a small healthy tree.

As far as this tree goes, you can’t do much to repair the hole. Filling the wound will not make it mechanically stronger. You could try cabling limbs to each other to keep them from cracking out but that will take effort and skill.

Eventually (and probably sooner rather than later) this trunk will fail and the tree will fall over.

I’ll let you decide what to do.

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