major bummer, tree down!!!

MichaelJune 15, 2014

Last night we had a horrid squall line blow through with wind gusts up to 90 mph, all but one of the apple and peach trees stood tall and firm in the ground in the morning except one.

The tree that blew over was fastened to a t-post with a Tmo-pro tree support which broke causing the tree to blow down flat. The tree's root system on the windward side is totally gone.

About 7 years ago I ordered about 10 G11 rootsocks and budded them with with a very old tree in town that had a fruit my wife loved. My wife asked me if I could somehow grow one of those trees so I went to work with the grafting asap having not done any grafting in 30 years. Of the 10, many took and I planted 2 of them and gave the others away.

The trees have near immunity to CAR and scab which is sure handy.

Location is everything, the other tree I planted wasplaced near the shelter of all of the mature native trees along a creek bank and the wind was no doubt lessened by the trees there as my apple at that site has never been staked and still stands straight and tall.

Having gone through the process of grafting the tree and growing it out to where it was ready to bear probably 6 or more fruit this year and doing it for my wife, it hurts to see the flattened by the wind.

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That has to hurt. Very frustrating- I'm sorry to hear it. Is there any chance at all of righting it and having it recover? I hope so!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 7:31PM
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TurCre(5 SoCentral NE)

I can sympathize. The same storm hit us. Spent most of the day clearing downed trees.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 10:40PM
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It seems like, with care, a relatively young tree like that should be able to recover from losing half of its roots.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 4:02PM
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I'd agree with murky, the tree can most likely be saved (assuming the other half of its roots are in good shape).

I have had trees much older than that recover from gophers chewing off the roots on one or more sides, which I did not notice until they blew over. Jack the tree back to vertical, guy ropes and stakes to keep it in place, and some judicious pruning to lessen the wind effects and attempt a balance of the roots/leaf area. And of course in my situation some well placed gopher poison.

It may take some TLC but I have two trees which I have done this to, which have survived and gone on to fruit just. I'd say give it a try, you most likely can't replace it until fall anyways...

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 12:14AM
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Thanks all: I righted the tree and removed more than half of the top leaving a very well placed side branch that was heading upward to be the new leader. It seems impossible that a tree could lose at least half of it's root system and subsequently grow a new one in situ capable of physically supporting it down the road. Hope springs eternal.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 4:35PM
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If you become really convinced that you won't get roots on that side of the tree, you could plant one or more root stocks on the side missing the roots and approach graft them to the trunk.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 7:09PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Trees are amazingly tough. I had two three-year old apples I dug up and threw in a pile and was going to toss them. Well, two months later they were growing lying on their side (the roots were in a bag and they somehow didn't dry out) and I stuck them in the ground a week ago, and now they are growing new leaves.

In a few years your tree will look like nothing bad ever happened. Stake it strongly for a few years though.


    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 10:57PM
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I had 2 years old peach tree uprooted by Hurricane Irene and we were out of home at the time. We returned home 3 days later to see the peach laying on its side, with roots exposed. I was so upset, that didn't even come close to look at it. I just asked my husband who had day off next day to dig it up and discard while I am at work... I came home, to see the tree upright and "growing". My hubby, who knows nothing about planting, just straitened the tree up, dug the roots in, hammered 2 inch steel pipe near the tree and tied it to the pipe ... I was thankful, but skeptical. He asked me to give the tree a chance. I agreed. That was not a right season to buy a new one anyway. Guess what? Next year we had peaches. And we are having them every year since. Even after this year harsh winter, there is a reasonable count of green peaches(at least before fungus and OM got to them, but this is not a tree fault). Some time it pays to give a chance)

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 7:07AM
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Hi, I had a plum blow over a couple of years ago. I righted it and piled dirt on the side with the broken roots so the trunk would sprout more roots, its doing fine. I supported it with 4X4's made into a X like shape, with cross boards on the bottom and tied to the tree to make sure it would not blow over again (it was 6" dia at the base). Make sure it is sturdily held up or it will go over again.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 1:35PM
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