Linda Hinchey
Linda Hinchey
  • Hometalker
  • Saltville, VA
Asked on May 29, 2013

Apple tree with severed trunk

Debra PetersLinda HincheyKMS Woodworks
+4

Answered

I'm curious about the future of my apple tree. As you know, the weather is freaky anymore and we had a nasty storm (no, not snow, but lightning, wind, hail and area tornadoes) this past January here in the middle Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. I have a Dwarf Winesap in the backyard on the hillside. When the storm came through I think we had some microbursts, downdrafts, whatever, that ripped limbs out of trees, uprooted several trees, bushes, and hit my 7 year old Winesap. It sheared it off almost completely at the base (I don't know if it is above or below the graft.) Nevertheless, it was hanging on by abt. an inches, or less, of tree and bark. Almost 1/5 of the tree was completely severed. It was a smooth, clean break, almost as if it had been cut with a knife. Needless to say, I was devastated. So, I thought, what the hay and propped it back up with a board. Low and behold, come spring, it budded out, then it blossomed! My question is, is there hope and what should I expect? Can this tree "fuse" back together and be healthy?? And if so, what should I be doing to ensure it's survival? When am I allowed to prune? Should I remove the little apples to help it continue to heal? Thanks a bunch!
apple tree with severed trunk, gardening
7 answers
  • Douglas Hunt
    on May 29, 2013

    Well, Linda, I think it is safe to say that none of us has encountered this scenario before! If it were me, this is a situation where I would want to get a trained arborist out to take a look, or, at a minimum, someone from a good local nursery where they sell a lot of fruit trees. I've seen trees to remarkable things. Maybe yours will be one of them.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on May 29, 2013

    Lucky you do not live here...we get wind storms that snap 10" diameter trees. http://www.networx.com/article/the-art-of-surviving-a-colorado-wind-sto

  • Debra Peters
    on May 30, 2013

    My husband is a retired orchardist - he says there are graft paints (tree wound pruning, sealer, grafting compound) available that will help heal it. make sure the two cut ends are as close together as possible. You want to keep insects out of the wound. Follow your normal pruning sequence, less shock for the tree. He also says apples are very resilient, so you should be ok. Good luck..

  • Linda Hinchey
    on May 30, 2013

    Debra, thank you and your husband for this advice. It's exactly what I was looking for. I typically prune in the fall/early winter. Does he recommend any tree tapes? I will definitely head to my local Southern States farm store to see if I can find any of the above paints. If not, I'll search online. Thank you again!!!

  • Debra Peters
    on May 31, 2013

    There are many products that will help bring the two pieces of trunk together. Anything designed for that specific purpose would be fine. You don't want to put in on and then forget about it, that could cause more damage as the tree grows. Your farm/local nursery stores should have something. make sure you read and follow the instructions (hubby calls them destructions) and you should be fine. Glad I was able to help!!

  • Linda Hinchey
    on Jul 31, 2013

    @Debra, it has a dozen apples on it! It's looking good! Whew!

  • Debra Peters
    on Jul 31, 2013

    @Linda Hinchey That is great to know! Glad we were able to help!!

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