Any tree experts out there?

  anchor 14:50 13 Oct 2010

I have 2 old apple trees in my garden. Each year they have produced a wonderful crop of cooking apples.

On lopping them down a bit recently, I noticed one tree has a problem; a bit of the bark was peeling of, and some browning had appeared.

You can see this from the 3 pictures here:

click here

I know nothing about fruit trees, but has anyone any idea what is causing this, and can be done?.


  Pineman100 15:11 13 Oct 2010

I'm no expert, but it looks to me as though that branch is dead.

It's difficult to know what's affected it, but if it were my tree I would cut the branch off, making sure that I cut right back into healthy wood.

I would then burn the branch, just in case it has an infestation or infection of some kind.

Most advice nowadays seems to suggest that it's best *not* to paint over the cut with a sealing compound. Just leave it open and allow it to heal over naturally.

  spuds 15:40 13 Oct 2010

We have some old apple trees which fruit every year in abundance, but with signs of some type of infestation (apples are eatable). It was suggested that in the 'dormant season' we wash the trees in a coal tar type solution. Keep saying that we will do this, but maybe this year it will happen.

The bark stripping that occurs on our trees is usually through animal boredom or pleasure?.

  BRYNIT 15:47 13 Oct 2010

Some Q&A on apple trees may give some advice click here

  wiz-king 15:56 13 Oct 2010

Tar oil wash is now discontinued - 'elf and safety.

  Grey Goo 17:17 13 Oct 2010

You can get Armillatox. Called a cleaner but is very good as a garden disinfectant and fungus killer. Tad pricy though but can be diluted up to 1:100

  Forum Editor 17:38 13 Oct 2010

if they haven't been pruned much over the years. I know this because I have a Cox's orange pippin tree that is around 25 years old, and a couple of years ago it did precisely what your tree is doing.

One of my wife's friends is married to a commercial fruit grower, so I rang him for advice. he said 'prune the tree fairly vigorously at the end of the summer, and don't expect much of a crop the following year. Cut the whole of the peeling branch away, and coat the stump with a sealer'.

I did what he said, and the following spring the tree started putting out lots of new growth. This year we have a good crop, and the sealed branch is just sitting there.

I'm not saying this will work for you, but it might be worth a try. I'm afraid I can't remember the name of the stuff I used to coat the branch end.

  Forum Editor 17:40 13 Oct 2010

that the grower told me when pruning it's important to keep the centre of the tree fairly open, so air and light can get in.

  spuds 18:09 13 Oct 2010

It was suggested that diluted Jeyes Fluid would do the job?.

Not sure whether this would be before or after pruning?.

  spuds 18:19 13 Oct 2010

Would mention that I 'heavy pruned' some Conference pear trees a few years ago, and my actions killed the lot. Strange, because I give the apple trees the same treatment, and they seem to thrive on it.

  Forum Editor 18:35 13 Oct 2010

There's heavy pruning and there's butchery - it's not always easy to know which is which. I know this to my cost - I almost killed my favourite Camellia some years ago. It took two years to recover from my 'heavy pruning', and nearly didn't make it.

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