I recently trimmed off some dead branches from an old Apple tree on our property and discovered the centre of all the dead branches rotted out… any way to know if this tree can be saved? Are the rotten centres indicative of a disease?
It’s eventually gonna die… But, that might be 100 years from now.
Google up photos of the last surviving ‘Johnny Appleseed’ tree, somewhere in Ohio… big hollow trunk.
There’s still a lot of ‘structural’ wood in that hollow branch/trunk. However, it looks like it’s been neglected for quite some time… from the look of it, it could even have been a rootstock sucker that was not removed in a timely manner
I’d like to see Lucky’s extension recs but am very skeptical. Sealing wounds is usually counter productive with trees because fungus thrives in moist conditions and trees don’t heal by eliminating fungus, they survive by walling fungus off. However, the science is always evolving so I’m open to new research, if that’s what the recs are based on.
I work on old apple trees almost every working day and they are the core of my business that originally got me on the estates where I now install mixed fruit orchards from trees I size up on my own property.
Hollowed branches are no concern, I manage one tree with a hole in the trunk a small dog can walk right through that may be much more than a century old. Many have caves created by rot a coon can make a nice home in.
A tree is in danger when it ceases to grow vigorously, although occasionally a tree with a rotten base will snap there but much more often, the tree topples via uprooting.
It is useful to sometimes train a tree with a particularly weak looking, rotted out scaffold to depend on wood from other branches to harvest light, gradually shrinking the dominance of that branch and eliminating it.
However, the photos you show are strong branches I wouldn’t worry about. The new living wood is much more dominant than the mostly non-vital rotting heart wood…
I just found this- apparently some speculate that tree filling could have a certain benefit by directing the callous formation more productively towards sealing the hole, but I question that interpretation, if only out of respect to evolution. The road to false recommendations are often based on logical leaps not supported by research and there are two equally logical deductions, that one and the idea that anything that reduces evaporation encourages fungus.
That said, even within this minor controversy, it is generally recommended not to fill holes except when trying to discourage animal nesting or having kids get stuck in a hollow tree!
Lucky, it appears the information in your link are not research based. I was curious where they drew their conclusions from and it led to opinion based sources, no actual research. We are left to our own deductions, which are the same…
Apple trees are a strong wood species. Peaches are not. (Based entirely on my own opinion.)
I would follow the temptation. Not just to make a single tree not compressing bark against the competitor (whether it’s codiminant sections or individual trees is only a matter of definition and of whether they are attached to the same roots), but to create the potential for a more attractive tree.
Vigorous crab seedlings are virtually indestructible if they are vigorously growing.
Is this a crab? I would follow alans advice, i have always been told that to cut open spots at an angle so water doesn’t pour in and leave them open to air. I do think it may be prettier to remove both of those smaller trunks near it and shape it up but i’m not sure i would put in the effort for a crab personally (Crabs are great but my area is entirely full of them)