I bought a house with a large back yard last year and I'm about to break ground on a orchard/food forest. My question is, do I keep the old crab apple and pear? The pear which is around a foot in diameter and 30ft tall was covered in rust last year, has significant woodpeaker damage on the central trunk and seems to have brown jelly fungus growing from some branches. It did produce a huge crop last year. Please see the pics below
The crab is a multi-stem hodgepodge with sooty mold fungus, aphid issues, some weird lumps and ooze. Didn't get any fruit last year so I can't comment on that aspect. Pics posted here Apple tree pics
I see a few options:
1) TLC and hope
2) Level one or both - If I cut them down, I can't burn them due to bylaws, shouldn't compost I'm guessing ... I'm not sure how to best dispose of them. Thoughts on that?
3) Major renovation with potential topworking.
I'd really like to hear opinions on this as I'm breaking ground in weeks and will be putting in 100+ trees and shrubs in around these existing trees.