Prune this apple tree branch?

kman86September 12, 2013

Hello,
I have a branch on my apple tree that appears to be dying, it's about 4"-5" in diameter. The smaller branch attached to this dying branch going off to the top left of the photo appears healthy and is bearing excellent fruit. However as you can see the bark is starting to peal (no rot underneath) but the wood is starting to show. Do I need to cut this branch off asap or should I cut it off once the smaller branch stops bearing fruit? Thanks!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
murkwell

That looks like it has been scratched off to me.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 1:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ltilton

Looks like a pretty old tree, could probably use pruning on general principles.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 7:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
megamav(5a - NY)

I'd prune it in February down to the branch collar, leave a small bit of wood to renew it.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 10:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Mine sometimes look like this due to freeze,...bark can be dead 2/3 around but there is still enough sap flowing out to a branch.
You can let it be or cut when you see dead all the way.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 11:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
alan haigh

What about the larger diameter branch that was already hacked off (stub should not have been left)? Unless it was a dead branch that is the reason for the cambium scorch below the cut.

You don't need to take out the branch if it is an important part of the shape of the tree. If it is still vital and generating vigorous growth it can seal of the rotting area and maintain enough healthy cambium to function indefinitely.

I have trees I manage with major scaffolds that have over 50 year old wounds that started like that. It frequently happens when too much wood is removed at one time- particularly during dormant pruning.

If a much larger branch is removed than the one you cut back to there is always some danger of cambium scorch. It is often worth the risk to bring big vigorous apple trees to a more manageable form when renovating them. I've never lost a tree as result of such wounds.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 6:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kman86

Thanks for all the responses guys,
The top branch was already cut off by the time I bought the house, so I'm not really sure whether the upper branch was actually dead or not.
It's not an essential part of the tree, but it is a nice lower fruit-bearing branch I'd like to keep if possible. I think I'll let it be until it's for sure dead all the way through, or there is a significant reduction in fruit yields on the branch. Again, thanks!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 1:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kman86

Thanks for all the responses guys,
The top branch was already cut off by the time I bought the house, so I'm not really sure whether the upper branch was actually dead or not.
It's not an essential part of the tree, but it is a nice lower fruit-bearing branch I'd like to keep if possible. I think I'll let it be until it's for sure dead all the way through, or there is a significant reduction in fruit yields on the branch. Again, thanks!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 4:10PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Pictures missing!
Have you noticed, since Houzz took over allot of pictures...
Konrad..just outside of Edmoton Alberta
Too new to know...is this root acceptable?
I'm new to Orcharding and to GardenWeb (what an incredible...
GuardinDawg
huge raspberry bush!!!!
Help! My husband and I have a humongous 6 foot spread...
satami00
Can Apples grow in the tropics?
I was wondering if apples could really be grown in...
Axel
Calling all Sweetcrisp owners!!!
Dear Sweetcrisp owners, Over here in Australia we are...
raadster
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™