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waitingforsam

Hollow section and woodworm

Question

Hello all,

I've just moved into a new house that has a garden with two apple trees. One of them looks to have woodworm and has a hollow section (see attached pictures) within a large vertical split.

I have no experience or knowledge regarding trees (always lived in flats, houses with yards) and don't know how to proceed. Ideally, I'd like to know how the health of the tree can be restored or maintained, or if it's structural weakness will only get worse. Any advice or reading that people can point me towards would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

 

Sam

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Edited by waitingforsam

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19 hours ago, waitingforsam said:

I'd like to know how the health of the tree can be restored or maintained, or if it's structural weakness will only get worse.

Sam they are in a bad way and will not get better, as they are new to you and of no sentimental value I'd suggest removal and deciding what to replant.

 

Did they fruit this year?

 

The  living parts may be fine and bear good fruit but the structure is suspect and all those bits of dead and rotting wood provide lots of hiding places for the various bugs that feed on apples.

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2 hours ago, openspaceman said:

Sam they are in a bad way and will not get better, as they are new to you and of no sentimental value I'd suggest removal and deciding what to replant.

 

Did they fruit this year?

 

The  living parts may be fine and bear good fruit but the structure is suspect and all those bits of dead and rotting wood provide lots of hiding places for the various bugs that feed on apples.

As above I would take it out, grind the stump out and then plant a new healthy tree there instead. Once trees are that Ill they will just slowly die off over the years ahead anyway 

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54 minutes ago, openspaceman said:

Sam they are in a bad way and will not get better, as they are new to you and of no sentimental value I'd suggest removal and deciding what to replant.

 

Did they fruit this year?

 

The  living parts may be fine and bear good fruit but the structure is suspect and all those bits of dead and rotting wood provide lots of hiding places for the various bugs that feed on apples.

Thanks for your reply. I thought that might be the case.

It doesn't look to have prodcued any fruit this year as there's no signs of any fruit on the tree or any decomposing around it.

Bit saddened that it won't survive but I'll look to plant something else, maybe a pear tree.

 

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I think its certainly in later life phase, can it be restored to a perfect tree then no.

On the other hand it is growing new callous tissue, could have 10 or 20 years of life left and provide habitat for invertebrates and fungi. Unless it's going to fall on the house I personally would keep it and just prune to stop it getting too big. It is quite possibly not fruiting because of poor pruning last year.

But it's a personal thing, depends what kind of garden tree you want.

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13 minutes ago, Dan Maynard said:

I think its certainly in later life phase, can it be restored to a perfect tree then no.

On the other hand it is growing new callous tissue, could have 10 or 20 years of life left and provide habitat for invertebrates and fungi. Unless it's going to fall on the house I personally would keep it and just prune to stop it getting too big. It is quite possibly not fruiting because of poor pruning last year.

But it's a personal thing, depends what kind of garden tree you want.

That's interesting to read. It poses no threat to the property and if it's useful as a habitat I'd be happy to leave it. The second tree in the garden appears to produce a lot of fruit so I don't need it for that purpose.

I'll start learning about pruning. All of this is new to me so everyone's advice here is a big help.



 

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I agree with Dan but it may take a fair number of years to get it fruiting well.

 

I've renovated an old tree, first year no apples, 2nd year a few small things and now I'm into the 4th year I'm getting a good crop of decent sized apples which are surprisingly good. I do have the room to plant others trees though so it wouldn't have mattered if the tree didn't make it.

 

This might be helpful if you do choose to keep it:

WWW.RHS.ORG.UK

Old, overgrown apples and pear trees can still be attractive and productive features in the garden if brought under control...

 

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If you want to get into gardening then the royal horticultural society book on pruning and training is well worth buying. It's sub £15 and has pictures for pretty much all the UK tree, shrub and flower types showing how to prune them, what time of year, how to fix bad pruning etc etc. Its worth every penny! 

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