Hole in Apple Tree Branch

MyAvatarJuly 13, 2014

I have a hole that is getting large and larger in the branch of my apple tree and I am wonder the best course of action to do. I've done a fair bit of reading and research, and I know most say to just do nothing. But my fear is it is going to weaken the branch and it will break soon. It i an upward facing hole, and easily collects water, which will continue the rot. I am also worried that if I trim the branch back to where the hole is located, it will make the tree unbalanced. The hole is where the blue circle is on the picture.

I posted in the tree forum and they also suggested I checked here. From my inspection, it does appear that the interior of the branch is entirely rotted.
We just purchased the property about a year ago. The tree was very over-grown and had not been properly pruned in years. We saw the knot at the time, but did not see the rot. Either the kids, or animals later dug it out,which is when we noticed the rot.

When should I cut this branch off? Should I wait till later in the fall and do it? Or do we wait till the branch brakes? I just do not want the fungus to spread to the other branch of the tree.

I will also post a few other pics.

Suggestions?
Thanks!

Lance

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MyAvatar

A view of the hole

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 1:50PM
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MyAvatar

A close up of the hole and rot damage

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 1:51PM
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alan haigh

That is typical of older trees. It is located at a bad spot in terms of possibly causing the branch to snap, especially under a heavy load of fruit, but a healthy tree has ways maintaining strength in the presence of rot many times. The wood around the wound that isn't rotting is probably very strong.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 7:00PM
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applenut_gw

I don't know if putting a post under the branch to prop it up is worth it; it will be hard to mow around.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 8:49AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I have heard of using foam insulation to seal holes. Not sure if that would do any good or not? Scrap out all dead wood. It may stop the progression? It will keep water out of it anyway.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 9:25AM
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calistoga_al

The tree has compensated for it, I would leave it alone. Al

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 9:58AM
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alan haigh

Foam insulation and other such methods have pretty much been debunked by research for decades. Trees deal with fungus by walling it off from healthy wood with resistant compounds. They don't fight the fungus directly with antibodies like animals do. Foam just encourages the fungus by keeping things wet. Pretty much the same deal with most pruning compounds.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 6:10PM
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