Author Message
R. Steele
Post     Subject: Apple tree Injury Identification


From the best forensic examination I can do with your photo. It appears to be a giredling wound from something that looks like a hose clamp. You can't fix it, but you can help the tree. Any dead bark, or rotting wood in that wound can get cleaned out, to eliminate bug hiding places, and there resulting high nitrogen guano which speeds up rot. Don’t damage any live bark or solid wood when cleaning the wound. After that you have a choice, see if the tree will recover fine on its own, or further intervene. If you have the skill and desire to intervene, take some apple scion sticks, and do a few jump grafts a cross the damaged area. Its hard to tell the size of the tree wound, or the exact condition of everything without examination; however, one jump graft for every 3" of wound circumference should work. You measure out the needed lengths of each stick at its site, and keeping the stick vertical slide the carefully made wedge shape scion end, up under the small vertical slice made in the bark starting about a few inches away from the wound. Once each stick is done on both ends, you can use some grafting sealer tape around the immediate graft areas, untill about a month after the trees really starts growing. The grafts will take, help increase the flow of nutrients and water, but most importantly. The new tissue grafts decrease the wound size, allowing it to close faster, before serious rot can set in to the lower trunk and butt.

Not sure if it helps, but somethings to consider.
Bryant RedHawk
Post     Subject: Apple tree Injury Identification

It appears to have been girdled by something, perhaps a vine since part of one is hanging out at the crease line on the left side in your photo.
First thing to do is make sure you can get most of what ever it is doing the girdling out.
Once you have that done you will need to do some bridge grafts, just as Joylynn mentioned.

Here is a good set of instructions for a bridge graft. Bridge grafting girdled fruit trees
and this youtube  you tube bridge grafting


(good catch Joylynn)
Joylynn Hardesty
Post     Subject: Apple tree Injury Identification

Part of the damage may be from apple borers. Michael Phillips explains his treatment here.

In addition, maybe at some point there was something surrounding the tree base and it grew around it. Wire tie? Metal band? Who knows…

Regardless of the cause, the damage does need repairing. The only way I have stumbled across was to make a bridge graft. I have not tried this as my tree went over in a storm, before I was able to attempt this method.

Here is a link to instructions, including drawings and photos. The drawings are more helpful to me than photos. There are reports that trees that have been entirely girdled have been saved this way. Your tree looks like part if the cambium is intact on your tree.

EDIT to add: the above link says that the bridge graft scions must be dormant to be used. Does anyone else know if this is true? That means no new growth or leaves. You may need to wait till late next fall.

Zane Baty
Post     Subject: Apple tree Injury Identification

First I'd like to thank the people who helped me on my last post, I'm fairly new to taking care of trees so there are sure to be many more posts like this. I need help figuring out what is wrong with this apple tree and what I can do to help it recover.