Originally Posted by Twinkletoes
What a cool idea for a thread!
Okay, we're considering building a house on a lot with a bunch of trees. Some were in the way and so we had them removed; but an old, unhealtlhy-looking, smallish apple tree is still there. I know a diligent gardener would spray for those dern moths, but we tend not to be real diligent.
I think the trunk got beat up because no one ever properly pruned it, so (my guess) it has been the victim of years of neglect. There are still some other trees, including Potawatamie (sp) plums and poplars(?) And the ever-(un)popular Chinese elms.
Is it hopeless? Can you recommend therapy?
Save it or Saw it?
One apple we had, we finally chopped - it just dropped all the fruit, which never ripened.
The other, we do very little with.
I'd tell you Cheryl is right - there is a lot to know about apples. But we get by with very little upkeep on the apple tree we kept.
Of course, we do get some wormy apples - but we prefer that to worrying about the effects of the spray. If you prefer to spray, you can look in the phone book for an arborist, or ask at a landscaping co near you for instructions to DIY.
Cut off 1/3 - no more! - of your tree's limbs any time now. Spring is generally a good prune time. But check with each plant type.
Branches that are not horizontal, ones that cross (lose the weaker one) and diseased or dead ones. (If you have to keep ones that fall in any of these categories, go with the ones that hang down. At least they'll give fruit)
Don't leave any nubs - cut them all the way off t the base where they start or you only promote more bushiness.
When the tree blooms, take off the flowers as they fade, until you have one bloom per six inches of branch.
This allows each fruit to fully develope. Apples grow their nodes this year for next year's blooms. so if they have too many flowers, too many fruit, you get into a pattern of no blooms or fruit the next time - or every other year - because it does not have the energy to do it.
One time, maybe two, of bloom picking should get it back on course.
You might be surprised to find even a littl attention and light prune will pump some life into it. Ours must be older than me, neglected for decades. Came around with very little loving.
Give her a chance and if she doesn't respond, then consider the axe. I hate to lose a tree that could be good, you know?