Young apple trees ... something ate the branches

PENoonanFebruary 12, 2013

Last summer my partner and I planted ten young apple tree "whips" in our yard with the intention of making an espalier kind of fence. It seemed to be going well until just a couple days ago, I glanced over and noticed that something had eaten all the branches right off them! Had no idea that was even a possibility.

Now they are basically 18 inch tall sticks. Are they going to die? Is there anything I can do to save them? It was pretty excruciating hard work getting them all into the ground, I'd really hate for that to have been a wasted effort. Thanks -


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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

probably deer .. maybe rabbits.. but they arent usually so efficient in destroying so many ...

it depends where they were grafted ... as to whether your named variety will return ..

apple has dormant buds ... so i doubt they will die ...

its just a question of what you will be left with ...

all that said.. now you have a deer problem.. and unless you solve that.. they will be back ...


    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 11:15AM
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I have new fruit trees I've installed over the last two years and just noticed that one row of peach trees has been touched, one hasn't. I'm suspecting deer, even though the row they hit was the newest and the smallest and the browsing has been on branches low to the ground but higher than I'd expect for rabbit. I also supect it since when I first noticed the nibbling, before it started in earnest there was fresh snow cover and one doesn't mistake the tracks a deer or for that fact a rabbit makes. The tree with the nibbled branch had the tracks of a younger deer. It didn't like what it found, as they remained unmolested for a month, but yesterday when I walked the property to look for the 'state of the union' I found a lot of deer browse and I have been seeing small herds. Deer will eat the most delicious and appropriate morsels early in the season and when winter starts wearing down toward spring, food starts running short and they decide the gals all get prettier at closing time. Then they start in on forage supposedly distasteful and harmful to them.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 3:00PM
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Deer love apples. And apple trees. I remember as a kid we used to party in one spot in the fall, and go over to get apples and listening to the deer crunch.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 5:02PM
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