Anna Apple tree - lost cause?
My Anna started to leaf out and bloom as expected this spring, but then the center of the tree died out. The branches closest to the center were growing weakly and starting to drop their foliage, too. However, growth from the lowest limb looked strong and healthy. Inspecting further, I found a large lesion that looked like fireblight on the main trunk, just above the lowest limb. Fearing that the disease would spread to my other trees, last weekend I had my DH cut the trunk about 12" below the lesion (and we immediately removed the cuttings from the yard).
So...my formerly 8' tall, multi-branched Anna tree is now 2.5' tall with no branches or foliage whatsoever. The trunk is about 3.5" in diameter at the top. Assuming we succeeded in cutting out all of the disease, what are the odds that the tree will sprout new branches and (eventually) recover? How long should I wait to see new growth before just removing the tree?
By the way, this is a grafted tree, so suckers from the rootstock won't be of the Anna variety; I need new branches to form on the trunk above the graft.
If the tree is not likely to ever recover, I'd rather dig the rest of the tree out now so I don't have that sad-looking stump out there all year.