I was out in the yard testing out my new weed whacker, and I ended up buzzing the hardware cloth basket I have around the my Orleans Reinette apple tree. I put a good sized 6-8" gash in the metal, didnt touch the tree. I over reacted and replaced the hardware cloth basket by digging it up. It was about 6" deep.
I found there were a few 1/4" roots running thru the basket holes, extremely tight, so I trimmed them off, otherwise I couldnt get the basket out.
After Im done 15 minutes later, notice the green tipped growth starting to weep on the tree.
Did I just harm or kill the tree by clipping a few roots on it 3-4" under the soil?
Its been extremely dry here over the past 6 weeks, we’ve gotten about 1/4" of rain.
I’ve been watering it, but since its on a G202 rootstock, I figured it didnt need all that much.
Maybe I should have waited until fall dormancy to replace the basket, but I didnt figure there to be roots in it.
I didnt want anything getting in there to chew at the tree, we have a lot of rabbits running around the yard and I use these baskets to keep them away.
Did I just commit a cardinal sin?
I won’t be concerned if it were my tree. Not in the least. The tree certainly won’t die and I won’t even expect it to wilt. Maybe what you saw was just normal.
Thanks for the reassurance fruitnut. Apple trees are pretty resilient.
Here are a couple of pictures. 2nd picture its the tree on the left for comparison with Kidd’s Orange Red on the right.
I’ll keep watering it. Sandy soil here.
Isn’t 6" a little excessive for burying hardware cloth? I’ve always read that it should extend down below the soil line but not much deeper than that.
We have moles and pine voles here in the forest.
I forget where I read about it, but 6" was recommended for root chewing rodents.
Wilting can happen on its own now due to the hot weather. I agree with fruitnut, no big cause for worry if you only lost a couple small roots.
Scott, you are right!
As soon as the 3:30PM shade hit the tree the new growth perked right back up again. within about 15 minutes.
I’ve watered it twice today now, it appears the disruption and the wilting are coincidence.
Maybe this is an indication it needs a little more water than I was giving it, which was about once a week.
Im starting to see what the west coast folks are going thru.
We havent had much rain here since the snow melted. Fortunately no water restriction yet.
If this keeps up (and it looks like the forecast calls for no/little rain for 10 more days), we’ll probably see odd/even restrictions.
This weather is wild, rain forecasts havent been holding up and the dewpoints are low, so its drying out fast.
Last week we were supposed to get over 3/4" of rain, and we barely got 1/10".
This has been the theme since the end of March.
Harvestm… Alan its probably thinking “What is he talking about? We just got rain last night.”
We saw none of it here in Saratoga County.