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 Pruning Dead Branches 
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Post Pruning Dead Branches
We have a mature MacIntosh Apple. this tree has 4 main branches of which one has become diseased and is dying. Almost all the leaves have dropped off and all the apples. the upper side of the entire branch is affected, the bark is peeling off. this dead areastarts at about 12 to 18 inches from the crotch extending to the limb tips... Question. Should I cut it off now--Aug '05, or wait until after harvest, or prune it off at the crotch this winter?


Tue Aug 16, 2005 2:04 pm

Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1147
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
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You've just described my multi-grafted Northern Spy apple tree... It's Gravenstein branch is dying. With identical symptoms, I've no idea what's wrong? The rest of the tree looks normal. So, what to do?

It's hard to believe there's a pathogen on one limb that hasn't infected the remaining tree, so I'm in no hurry to remove it. Around the time fall burning season arrives I'll saw it off and burn it (or donate it to any friends who smoke fish or barbecue). I've read / learned that it's best to let the open wound dry and "heal" on its own - as opposed to sealing it with anything. I've noticed that a sealing / "healing" compound will trap moisture and allow rot; whereas letting it "heal" naturally looks to give the best results.

When you remove the limb, cut it off a foot or so away from the trunk (remember to first make a slight undercut a bit closer to the trunk than the final top cut - so it doesn't tear the bark as it falls). Make the finish-cut nearly flush with the tree trunk, but not too close, and never leave a stub.

Maybe Ted will tell us what caused our trees demise? I only hope it stops there, I've spent 3 years watching a tree entirely "consumed" by this slow death - this time I'd rather replace it sooner than later - so I'll be watching very closely next spring!

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Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:59 pm
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Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2005 2:51 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Portland Metro
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I received information from a local source, His rationale was: Why wait? It is dead, cut it off now. I did, It looks much better. Yes, I too will be watching closely next spring. Thanks, fellow Oregonian, Viron.

I thought I had joined, but I see I am listed as Guest.
CJ

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Gardening is the only therapy I can afford. CJ


Sun Aug 28, 2005 1:45 pm
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