Jane Southall wrote:I have been researching the pruning. I have no axe, yet need to find a neighbor to borrow from. I have a hand saw, though. One has been struck by lightning and hard it hit in a storm. Still alive though. Also storms have pruned the other two a bit. I wasn't certain if I should heavily mulch at the base. I did start my under planting out a couple of feet from the tree. One of the trees is in a very moist area. I can tell by amount of smartweed. We have not had our usual dry summer so have been uncertain about mulching the wet area. Thank you so much for the input.
Jane Southall wrote:Shelah, I looked up natural enemies of your borer. You might not want woodpecker. Have you tried attracting nuthatches? Just a thought. Good luck to you. You have my sympathies.
Susanna Pitussi wrote:Thanks so much David for what you mentioned about the compost and apples with scabs!
I'm in Nova Scotia and you can tell how wet and acidic our property is by how well the blueberries are doing just 12 feet from the apple trees.
I never realized it was the damp and acid soil causing the scab! I just dumped a load of almost finished compost under one tree for the chickens to spread and play in.
But I may also try composting into a couple of deeper holes like your Dad did. We're hard pressed to even get a fence post down 2 feet here without hitting granite or shale, but I can probably get a couple of narrow holes dug.
Trevor Walker wrote:Has anyone mentioned pea gravel as mulch and larvae barrier around the trunks?
Some fantastic books by Michael Phillips, The Apple Grower, and The Holistic Orchard.
Specifically he mentioned the pea gravel as barrier against curculio larvae, which must climb from fallen fruit to the trunk, and up to new fruits.
Rez Zircon wrote:See this wretched looking tree? it's been neglected for decades and mauled by bears. (It appears to be own-root, not grafted. It doesn't sucker.)
All I've done is chop out the deadwood I could reach from the ground. And this year we had a lot of spring rain. Look what it did -- these are all on one branch (out of reach without a ladder, so I didn't do anything with 'em):
They're not the best apples, but goes to show what a death-warmed-over tree is still capable of.
One up the way that two years ago looked totally dead from being covered with vines -- took two years to recover but this year has about a dozen apples on it and is looking much better.