Tree guys - can this be saved?

marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern OntarioSeptember 8, 2011

We've managed to avoid deer all these years, but just now a bear broke this crabapple tree. Doesn't look good, does it? Can you give me some advice?

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marricgardens

I'm not a tree expert but i do have a DH who drives the tractor over shrubs and breaks them - not on purpose tho. When he does it and it looks like yours, he puts two stakes in on opposite sides of the shrub and duct tapes around the stakes, not all the way up but in two spots, to hold it together. This way the shrub is forced upright and it will keep growing. This has happened before and it worked. The shrub will end up with a crooked stem but it did keep growing. Good luck! Marg

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 9:26AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

That's what DH did this morning already. We're hoping it takes - that's the main trunk, of course. I wonder if i should give it extra water now - it's pretty dry here.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 10:00AM
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marricgardens

I forgot to mention, we are also foliar feeding it besides the water. We are using Aggrand, a liquid fertilizer. If it's really dry, I would add more water. Another thing, is the bark broken all the way around? It doesn't look like it so that's good. What kind of tree is it? Marg

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 11:03AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

It's a crabapple tree - not sure what it's called other than that. The bark wasn't broken all around. That was something else i looked for, and a good sign that it's not.

This happened so quickly. DH is sure the tree wasn't broken when he went out to look around the first time we heard the dog barking. I knew it was something serious because it wasn't a "Squirrel! Squirrel! Squirrel!" bark! This is the dog's first encounter with a bear and i'm sure he thought that was the biggest darn squirrel he'd ever seen!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 11:14AM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Holy cow !

Aren't you afraid to go out in your yard now? Is this a one time thing, or do you get bears passing through on a regular basis?

"Squirrel! Squirrel! Squirrel! bark" That's funny =:)

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 1:17PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

We haven't had a bear around in a couple of years. Mostly they stay in the bush or go to the neighbours' because they leave bird seed out all year. But the berry crop was poor this year so the bears are looking for food before they den up for the winter. If it had asked nicely, i would have given it all the crabapples it wanted. :-/

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 5:41PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

I guess you'll see in spring if it leafs out. If it doesn't survive you could easily develop a new leader from the healthy branches just below the break.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 7:45PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

It's really disappointing because it was starting to look really nice, and the blooms in spring are gorgeous!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 9:15PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

It looks like this tree had some injuries before, about 2/3 of bark
is gone and created a weak spot, I have similar trees like this....late hard frost in spring or early deep freeze in fall.
Sometimes I chop it off ground level and let the root stock come up and graft on later.

I would take that broken leader off and let that branch on the right take over, it will take many years to heal that over...not all lost.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 11:59PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Konrad, as far as i know, there were no previous injuries to the tree. I have some tree wrap around the bottom near the ground, but that's about it. Something may have happened to it before i got it, but it has been good and healthy since i've had it. My husband has already staked it up and we'll just have to wait and see what happens, i guess. At least the branches on the right were spared so if the rest does die, we'll have those. Sooooo disappointing, though.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 8:17AM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

I can see what Konrad's seeing, the left side of the trunk right at the break looks like a big barkless scar. It might just be the photo though.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 8:58AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Yes..you wouldn't know, it's not physical injury, it's frost damage several years ago, I can see the healing in on the side.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 12:06PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Okay. Is there a way to prevent that? I have another crabapple and something that looks like an apple seedling growing in another bed.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 8:46PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

""Is there a way to prevent that?""
Not really, ..it can happen anywhere on the trunk and branches.
If you want, you could try to wrap the trunk about 2/3 up with about 2 layers of burlap end of Sept. and take it off mid May.
Spray paint the burlap white a bit on the south to reflect sunlight.
I have hundreds of trees and can't do this, I paint the trunk..this helps a little but not a sure thing.
Most likely the seedling will turn into a crab apple.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 11:50PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Thanks, Konrad. This tree will get plenty of snow cover, since our path out to driveway and the garage goes right by it. Will that help?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 9:14AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Snow cover is always good...but there is the odd year when we like more.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 11:55AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

This poor tree is doomed, i think. It seemed to be healing nicely, but along came Mr. Bear again, and he snapped off a large branch. It's a relatively clean break - could the branch be "grafted" on to its own tree again?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 7:45PM
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twrosz

Marcia, unfortunately a large completely severed branch cannot be reattached.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 8:01PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Thanks, Terry. Dh wanted to try - i'll tell him not to bother.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 9:55PM
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spiderjoe

Just saw the broken branch off. There is no way to mend a broken branch like that.

Crabapples can take a severe pruning. Plus they grow very quickly and sucker up. The wound will calus over and be growing good in no time.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 11:44AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

That's last year's pic. The trunk has mended but the bear broke off a large branch a week or so ago. I should be doing like Kondrad and leaving crabapples on the ground for the bear. :-/

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 1:53PM
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