Apple Tree Help

brookelou65May 6, 2014

I have a 40+ apple tree in my backyard. It has been progressively getting worse of the past 5 years. I'm not sure if it is even possible to save but maybe it is possible to stave of its decay. The apple tree is a mate to another apple tree close by. Which isn't doing horribly well or good. The problem with the decaying apple tree is that ants have invaded. There used to just be a small hole at the base of the trunk but they've peeled away the bark and increased the size of the hole drastically. They caused such rotting that it split in two and half fell off. (yes half of the entire tree) We tried spraying the ants but didn't want to hurt the tree or poison our woodland critters. We know nothing of trees but have a lot of old land with various old trees on it and want to save the mate to our other apple tree. The ants come back to the tree every year. They tried to invaded the other apple tree through a hole midway up it but we sprayed that black spray to seal trees all of the inside of the hole. The ants haven't come back to that tree and its doing well now for the most part. Don't you need at least one male and female apple tree to produce fruit? both of our produce fruit but if one completely dies off will the other still bare fruit?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

get rid of them both.. and plant some new ones.. if apple production is the issue ...

or vice versa ... plant some new ones.. and watch these fail over time ...

there is dead rotting wood in the interior... spraying the ants will never solve that problem ... they will fail.. eventually .. and in tree years that could be decades from now ...

there are ways... to have your two trees grafted... so you can 'keep' the old apples ... but it would cost some money ... see link for how its done.. the peeps in the fruit forum might know.. who offers this type of service ...

good luck


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 12:46PM
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As with many types of fruit trees, apples can have a lot of disease issues. While they can live for a very long time, if they are not maintained properly over the years, they can easily begin to fail and at that point it makes far more sense to replace than to attempt to save.

I'm with Ken. Remove these two and start over with something new of your choice and that works well for your area - not all fruit trees are well-suited to all areas. Don't worry about male or female - each apple tree is both - but you do need two different types to get fruit.

Fruit trees are inexpensive and should start bearing fruit in just a season or two, depending on age of tree when planting.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 1:20PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Carpenter ants? Regardless, ants do not cause rot, they just take advantage of it. There's really nothing you can do, especially covering the area in tree goop.

You might do things to manage the health of the trees.....mulch a large area with three inches of wood or bark chips, provide water in times of drought, and top dress with a little fertilizer if you haven't done so. Fruit trees require nutritional support in order to stay productiveness, fight disease, and recover from insect damage.

By doing so, you 'might' be able to buy some time for your trees.

I'm with the others, do some research about the best apple cultivars in your area. Yes, you will need two different varieties and the timing of their bloom period must overlap. It's not a male/female issue as Gardengal gardengal mentioned.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 7:00PM
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