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Apple tree with a very curved trunk

 
Ken W Wilson
Posts: 294
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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A little over a year ago I planted a Honeycrisp apple on Mm111. It was very poorly shaped and even got worse as it grew. I decided that when it matured it would never hold up to the weight of a full crop of apples. Yesterday, I replanted it with the graft about six inches deep. This took most of the curve out. Now I'm having doubts. Was this a bad idea? I know it could grow roots above the graft and become a standard sized tree. Will the deep planting cause any other problems?
 
Casie Becker
pollinator
Posts: 706
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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forest garden urban
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Around here, we're advised not to even mulch up around the trunk of trees. I've picked up the impression that root and subsoil parts of trees are specially adapted to that environment. Above soil level the plant tissues are more suceptible to disease and insect pressures. They need the barrier of space and good airflow for the health of the plant.

Sorry, I think your tree would be happier if you unburied the trunk to the original root depth.

On the other hand, I've seen many naturally quite twisty trees. I wasn't under the impression that it was anything but a cosmetic flaw. What leads you to believe that a twisty trunk is less able to support the developed weight of the tree? Not saying you're wrong, just interested in learning something new. Someday I might need this information myself.
 
John Wolfram
Posts: 614
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
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trees
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Trees are amazingly adaptable (probably because they can't move) and roots can become branches and branches can become roots. This is why with air layering you can get a tree to grow roots on branches 40 feet up in the air, and root-over-rock bonsais survive. My guess would be that the tree will do fine if you just leave it buried.
 
Ken W Wilson
Posts: 294
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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Thanks! I guess I'll leave it deep. It's hard to explain, but the graft grows out the side of the rootstock for several inches.The trunk isn't close to being centered on the root then it twist a couple more times.
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1355
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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With the graft below the soil, you will lose all the benefits of the rootstock: dwarfing, disease-resistance, soil/water/ph preference. But the tree pretty much will not die, it will just be different.
 
John Wolfram
Posts: 614
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
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Ken W Wilson wrote:Thanks! I guess I'll leave it deep. It's hard to explain, but the graft grows out the side of the rootstock for several inches.The trunk isn't close to being centered on the root then it twist a couple more times.

Sounds like it was bud grafted and had a rather nasty bend on it. I've heard those referred to as banana hooks. In general, as the diameter of the trunk gets bigger over the course of a few years the hook becomes less and less noticeable.
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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