Reviving an overgrown garden

lucymay6(Winchester, MA 01890)July 8, 2013

Boy do I need some advice. I am embarking on a huge project of taming my parents' property that has been neglected and overgrown for many years. This posting concerns two trees, one apple and one crabapple. The apple is one that grew as a volunteer. There used to be a very old apple tree in the yard when I was growing up. It is gone now, but this is its child, and it is probably 15' tall now. My mother says it has never borne fruit or flower.

I'm wondering if it would be possible to graft cultivated varieties onto this well established specimen rather than cut it down? Any opinions?

The crabapple seems healthy and is producing many fruits and flowers. It has 4-5 large established suckers growing out. Probably 3" diameter. If I cut them all at once, will it shock the tree?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
calistoga_al

You can graft apples of your choice on the apple tree. Your rootstock will have no dwarfing ability so expect a large tree. I would remove all suckers from your crabapples if you want to continue growing in the standard shape of your current trees. They will grow back and need removing again and again. Al

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 4:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lucymay6(Winchester, MA 01890)

Thanks for your input! what do you think would happen if I cut off the top of the apple tree? Any chance I can make it shorter?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 6:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
murkwell

If you cut off the top of the apple tree it will sucker like crazy. You can keep it lower by pruning and training the branches to spread horizontally along with continual and regular pruning.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 7:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
alan haigh

If you really want some useful advice try to post a photo or few.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 7:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lucymay6(Winchester, MA 01890)

Here's a pic of the apple tree.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 8:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lucymay6(Winchester, MA 01890)

This is a close up of the first set of branches on the apple.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 8:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lucymay6(Winchester, MA 01890)

And this is the crab with all its suckers.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 8:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lucymay6(Winchester, MA 01890)

based on your input here, I've decided to prune all the suckers on the crabapple and to remove the apple tree. as much as I hate to kill a mature tree, it is growing right in the middle of where I want my vegetable garden to go.

The trouble with the crabapple pruning plan is that there is a mourning dove sitting on a nest in one of the sucker branches. So I will wait until she's done with her nest. Probably autumn.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 11:52AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Bareroot pruning of a multi-branched nectarine?
Just picked up a bareroot Snow Queen and it has several...
brownmola
Extreme Cold
Looks like I won't be seeing any peaches and plums...
Helen Zone 6 Ohio
Blackberries in the age of SWD
It seems that spotted wing Drosophila is making blackberry...
marc5
Will these plum tree buds be damaged by frosts we will have next week
This is my bruce plum tree. The buds have started to...
tlbean2004
Is it just me or have my plum tree buds gotten bigger lately?
I have a bruce plum tree that i planted last september. It...
tlbean2004
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™