Reclaiming neglected apple tree? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 04-27-2010, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
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We have two apple trees in the back yard which have been totally neglected for years and have become very overgrown. I would like to try to reclaim the trees for harvesting good, healthy fruit. I think it's going to take some work though, and I don't know where to begin.

My main questions are:
1) the fruit gets grey spots all over the skin, what are they and how can they be treated?
2) how to deal with insects?
3) how best to fertilize and care for?
4) how best to prune a tree that has not been pruned in the past and is way overgrown?

Can anyone give me some advice or suggestions for where to look for information?

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#2 of 3 Old 04-27-2010, 07:54 PM
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Sorry, I don't have any good advice here, but in fact I'm wondering many of the same things about my ancient orchard. I have 3 apples and a pear tree, all of which haven't been pruned since 1920 (if ever). I love these trees and my great-great grandfather planted them. So I'm scared to even consider pruning! I'll be watching this thread with much interest.

Hope you get the answers you need for your own tree!


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#3 of 3 Old 04-27-2010, 08:11 PM
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Your best bet is to call the county extension agency. They can find you a certified arborist that can help you prune your trees to be fruitful again. I warn you, it takes more than a year or two because the trees only tolerate a certain amount of pruning per year.

The gray spots are likely scab. New apple trees have been bred to be scab resistant. Old apples were used more for cider or cooking, so the folks just took out that little spot with a knife and use the rest of the fruit.

If its not scab, you may have coddling moth. They will destroy the whole inside of the fruit.

Good luck.
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