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Old 03-20-2017, 12:38 PM   #1
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Any Crabapple tree experts?


As Bart Simpson would call it , I've got this "cruh-bapple" tree in my front yard.

The top 95% of the tree appears to be deceased, the branches are dry and brittle. At the base of the tree, there is some really nice and healthy new growth. Flowers just bloomed a few days ago.

I'm in sunny AZ, and the tree gets plenty of sunshine, and I do water it once or twice a week in the dry season.

What, if anything should I do with this tree in terms or pruning or cutting to stimulate growth at the top of the tree?

Should I cut anything?

Should I leave it alone?

Should I just yank the whole thing out and plant something else?

Thanks.
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:37 PM   #2
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Re: Any Crabapple tree experts?


IMO, that tree is on the way out. You may get the bottom to grow if you cut off the top but it will never be a good looking tree as a result.
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:30 PM   #3
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Re: Any Crabapple tree experts?


Ayuh,.... Agreed,.... If ya wanta Experiment, cut it off just above anything that looks Alive, 'n let it go,...

Otherwise, yank it, 'n start over,....
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:49 PM   #4
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Re: Any Crabapple tree experts?


Winter Kill, is a common malady for many trees.

That occurs most often farther north than you, though not heard of there.

It basically is a quick freeze on the above ground part, and the best remedy is to cut off the dead, before it infects the good root, but the remainder only grows as small branches out from the remaining trunk, and will always look strange.

I have an old cottonwood that looks like a giant slingshot, it has a two foot tall trunk, sticking up and then two ten inch diameter branches reaching up to 50 feet tall.

It was a small tree already damaged this way 35 years ago when I bought the place, and has grown much bigger.

If you want the crab-apple for beauty, you need to replace it, but if you want it for fruit, and shade, cut it above the growth, and allow the growth to flourish as it will not care how it grows, it will be happy growing at an odd angle.

ED
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:13 PM   #5
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Re: Any Crabapple tree experts?


Thanks guys. I become a tree surgeon tomorrow.
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Old 03-28-2017, 12:08 PM   #6
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Re: Any Crabapple tree experts?


Yeah, prune at ground level and start over. Make sure to look for the new Malus (crapapples) that are disease resistant. Cedar apple rust is very prevalent and over time can weaken the tree to the point it can't fight off other diseases or drought. It looks like you have a bunch of cedars right by this tree so there is no reason, frankly, to plant another crabapple. They will all struggle due to the cycle of disease between the two trees.
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Old 03-28-2017, 02:43 PM   #7
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Re: Any Crabapple tree experts?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Plump View Post
Yeah, prune at ground level and start over. Make sure to look for the new Malus (crapapples) that are disease resistant. Cedar apple rust is very prevalent and over time can weaken the tree to the point it can't fight off other diseases or drought. It looks like you have a bunch of cedars right by this tree so there is no reason, frankly, to plant another crabapple. They will all struggle due to the cycle of disease between the two trees.
Those are juniper, ash and pine trees nearby, which are native. The crabapple was planted by a previous owner. It did well the first year I lived here, but then the die-off last year. I thought it was totally dead, but the healthy new growth at the base this spring gave me some hope.

I'll give it a shot to recover, if it doesn't I'll plant something else thee.
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Old 03-29-2017, 12:03 PM   #8
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Re: Any Crabapple tree experts?


That new growth is a response to dying. It will not be a healthy tree. It's called epicormic sprouting and many trees do it as a last ditch effort before total die back. They are not from vegetative buds and will not grow as normal trunks and branches do.

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