need help asap to save branch broken off crabapple

clementinecrabappleOctober 16, 2009

My beloved crabapple tree, Clemetine, had a branch that was my FAVORITE branch - it curved so beautifully downward toward my flowers and I've loved and admired this branch since I planted Clementine. A BEAR came one night last week and tried to get Clementine's crabapples (she had a lot of them) and BROKE MY FAVORITE BEAUTIFUL BRANCH! :`(~~~~

I am poor Clementine! So I took the branch to a friend's small greenhouse to protect it from the cold a bit (no heat but shelter at least) and put it in water, hoping to be able to root it...or better yet, reattach it. Since putting the branch in the greenhouse, we got snow and the water the branch is in froze. Tomorrow is the only day my friend is available to drive me out to where the greenhouse is to do something with this branch - so I NEED HELP ASAP! I have no idea what to do to save this branch!!! :`(~~~ It's several feet long (5'? 6'? hard to envision how long exactly but fairly long) and I'm not sure how thick since it's not here with me, but maybe about 1.5-2"? diameter or so at the point where it attached to the tree. It left a fair sized wound on the trunk (the branch was attached somewhat of a "V" to the trunk, which I understand is not the best formation for fruit tree branches but it curved up and over so beautifully) when it was ripped off. I know this is not what most people would do, but I really really want to save this branch - I LOVE it so much! :`(~~~

It's slightly warmer out today/tomorrow than it has been the past few days but still cold...and soon we will get more snow that will last for months (it will also get -40 degrees in winter and worse)

Is there a way that I can re-attach it? Can I root the whole branch? Could I bring the whole branch indoors for the winter and root it somehow? (then it could become a second tree and I'd still have that beautiful curving branch). I know people usually root small cuttings not entire big branches but I love this branch and want to root the whole branch if I can. Is there a way that I could put rooting powder on it, plant it outside and maybe put straw around it for insulation or something - is something I can do so that it will survive the winter outside? Would it be better to bring it indoors over the winter? Would it survive if I try to root the whole branch indoors over winter and plant it outside in spring when it has roots? PLEASE TREE EXPERTS - I NEED YOUR HELP! :`(~~~

I know this is not the usual thing to do but if there is any way this is possible, I really really want to save my favorite branch. I love it so much...please help! I have to do something asap as tomorrow my friend can help me, and also because it's cold outside and soon there will be more snow and even colder (there's a chance we might get a short warmer period, but by the end of the month we could get snow that stays for the winter). PLEASE HELP me save Clementine's beautiful branch!

Thanks to anyone who cares and takes the time to reply

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I just realized it's 2:33am FRIDAY - so it's not "tomorrow" that I need to do something with this branch, it's today, Friday. Also, I didn't mention - all the crabapples have been picked from the branch and the tree. If it's absolutely impossible to re-attach the branch, then I also need to know what to do about the wound left on the trunk where the branch was ripped off. Thanks again

    Bookmark   October 16, 2009 at 5:36AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Dry it out and make a piece of woodwork out of it. Once a tree loses a branch it can never be re-attached. Just leave the wound as is, it will heal over time.


    Bookmark   October 16, 2009 at 8:34AM
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Thanks for the fast reply Scott - if I can't re-attach it is there ANY possible way of *rooting* the branch? 8/
I'm willing to go to great lengths...I'll let that branch sleep in my bed with me all winter if I can save it as a new tree!
About the wound...I don't do anything at all? When the branch ripped off it took not only the bark (from the trunk) with it but some of the wood from the trunk too (it broke right at the trunk with *none* of the branch left AT ALL). The wound is several inches long and the wood of the trunk is exposed and is rough due to being broken rather than cut...won't it rot or get insects? 8/

    Bookmark   October 16, 2009 at 9:51AM
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theaceofspades(7 Long Island)

Take cuttings and save them in the fridge with some moist paper in a zip lock baggie. In the spring graft the crabapple to other apple trees or on a seedling root stock. You will save the crabapple possibly for another hundred years.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2009 at 9:59AM
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Thanks very much for replying. That sounds better than letting the entire branch just die...but is there no way I can root the entire branch (as one giant cutting)? I was thinking maybe it could be brought indoors, put in a bucket of water...with something in the water for nutrients and then try the rooting thing where you make a cut, put a little stick in it and put rooting powder in the cut, then damp moss/plastic around it (haven't done it but read about it) - which I know is meant to be done when the branch is still attached to the tree, THEN cut it off after it roots but maybe in this case if the branch is getting water with nutrients in it it would stay alive and root inside the moss/plastic...which would be a bit up the branch from the end that is in the water? :/
:`( *Sigh*

    Bookmark   October 16, 2009 at 3:43PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I don't think Ace read your initial question carefully. You still have the main tree so you don't need to propagate the variety. That big branch is dead, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Apples don't root and its too big to root even if it were a kind of tree that does root.


    Bookmark   October 16, 2009 at 6:07PM
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theaceofspades(7 Long Island)

Scott, I read the question. I tried to reply with the only workable answer to save the branch, er a just 3 inches of it anyway.

clementinecrabapple you could graft a piece and get another clementine crab apple tree but you cannot save the whole branch.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2009 at 10:09PM
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