3 problems - apple bark, cherry branch, tree not growing...

johndoug(z6 Philly)December 15, 2012

Hi all,

Went out and did winter pruning today. It was too early i'm sure, so i hope i didn't hurt my trees too much. Can't help myself starting everything early.

Anyway, have a few pictures:

1) Gala apple - has areas all over the tree where the bark is split like the picture. Anyone know what is causing this and how i can stop it?

2) Cherry tree. I have had 2 main branches go off the main leader, but i've always wanted a 3rd to even the tree out, but the little runt branch just won't grow. i have that problem with another cherry too. little runts around the crotch between the leader and the main branches. can i do anything to spur growth of these runts? or should i just cut them off?

3) this diadora spruce has not grown an inch in 3+ years. since the needles are on i guess it's not dead, but any thoughts? i know this isn't a fruit tree, but these were my 3 problems today. thanks!!! (apologize for not rotating pics properly)

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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

So strange you posted a picture of your Gala doing that, mine looks almost the same except I see silvered, dead-looking wood under my splits. Branch tips seem alive, though. The root stock area on my looks the worst, so I'm curious whether it will make it through the winter. Hope you don't mind me jumping on your thread, it just seems silly for me to ask the same question in a different one. Cheers!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 7:47PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you dont want to take the time to rotate the pix.. but i should take the time ... blah.. blah.. blah ...

2nd pic.. why the giant staking procedure .. how big is that tree. and how long has it been there???? is this a fruit tree or an ornamental flowering cherry????

third pic.. any conifer that does not grow is dead ... but dead ones cna hold their needles for a year or so.. until hot weather browns them.. and makes them fall off ....is it supposed to be yellow??? or blue/green ... but dead ones.. eventually shed leaves ... i say.. rotate this pic.. and post it in the conifer forum ... [what the heck did you edit out of that pic.. lol.. the neighbor standing in your pic with a silly grin????]

i know the first pic is a problem.. but i am blanking on it ...


    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 7:52PM
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johndoug(z6 Philly)

i am visiting my father, and he doesn't have any picture editing software, so while i tried to rotate them, i was unable. it's not for lack of trying.

the cherry is ornamental, but my home cherry which is fruit does the same exact thing. this tree is 12 foot tall, like 10 years old. my dad lives in a real windy area, so a couple years ago i staked it to keep it upright. the stakes are loose now and not doing anything.

that's really interesting about the conifer. that makes sense. i wonder if all conifers "candle". this one sure never has. the color is yellow/green which is its natural color. it has not grown for several years. my father has sprinklers on auto timer, so it's possible this thing has never gotten dry.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 9:33PM
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If using Windows you can rotate pics with just the windows software.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 9:39AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Pines candle, cedars don't.And I agree w/ ken -- the deodar cedar is a goner.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 2:29PM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Well, since this thread was getting mostly critiques of how the photos were posted, I went further afield and found that bark splits are fairly common on young apple trees and often heal with no harm done. It can be caused by frequent thaw/freeze cycles, a lot of water after a long dry spell, or sunscald due to heavy pruning of the canopy. The OPs looks mostly healed over, mine, well time will tell. Cheers!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 5:39PM
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johndoug(z6 Philly)

thank you sunnibel!! i think i've got 2 of my 3 questions answered. now i'd like to figure out why small branches around the crotch of a couple cherry trees i have never grow. i've not seen this branch behavior on my other fruit trees.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 10:55PM
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Beeone(4 N. Wyo.)

I've seen blue spruce with similar odd behavior and color before. It was usually caused by either herbicide damage or an iron deficiency.

Some of the trees I've seen with herbicide damage were goners, others did survive but still look really strange. The ones that were iron deficient recovered to start growing normally but didn't fully recover the weird growth after they started getting annual doses of iron sulphate. The soil they were growing on was around 8 pH which caused the iron deficiency.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 1:54AM
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