Crab Apple Tree

emlynarskiJune 10, 2013

my baby crab apple tree has no leaves or blossoms on a couple branches for the second year in a row. Is there anything I should do? Prune them? I included a picture, specifically the large branch in the centre and a few off to the sides. Any input would be appreciated. Thank you :)

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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)

Maybe you need to feed it.

All those beautiful flowers underneath may be competing for food and water.


    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 4:18PM
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I take it those branches without leaves are the same branches that had no leaves last year? I think those branches are dead... if you scrape a bit of bark off and under the bark is brown instead of green, or if you bend one of those branches and it snaps rather than flexes, then those branches are dead and you might as well prune them off.

It looks to me like your tree had a hard transplant and is still trying to get established. But it is alive and the growth that is there seems healthy, so prune off any dead branches and let the tree fill out a bit before worrying about its form. I suspect it will come on strong later this year and next year should be vigorous. As its health picks up, expect it to put some new leaves directly out of the main trunk -- leave these on as they will become new branches to replace the branches that have died.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 4:22PM
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Do you know what variety is your tree? How old is it? Unfortunately, it does not look very healthy for a 2nd or 3rd year tree.

If it were me, I'd remove those beautiful annuals at the base first. Your young tree has tried to establish, those flowers will compete with it for nutrient. Then, I'll remove all dead branches (after your scratch test). The lowest branch, though has leaves and flowers, has a very narrow angle. If it were a healty tree, I'd remove that branch, too.

The darken area near the lowest branch of your tree looks suspecious. Do you have a close-up picture of it, please?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 5:34PM
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SUCH great advice, i'll do it all. I just want to save it. I'll post a closer pic this evening. The tree was here when we moved in, last august, and unfortunately I don't know any details about it. I added the flowers around it as it is north facing and mostly shaded, this was the only place to add a pop of colour in the front yard. I will gladly move the flowers to the back if it'll help save my tree :)
Thank you.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 5:52PM
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Glad that you mentioned about the lack of sun.
That is one of the reasons fruit trees including crab don't thrive. How much sun does it get?

Would you consider moving it to a more sunny area? If so, it needs to be done when a tree is dormant like early spring. Then, you can plant a more shade tolerant tree there.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 10:00PM
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