apple tree split at the trunk

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by .netDude, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. .netDude

    .netDude Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2004
    Western NY
    During a weekend wind / rain storm, my apple tree split right down the center of the trunk. My quesiton is, can I just cut off the side that is leaning over onto the ground and coat the remaining side with something to keep it alive? It's a pretty mature Spy (sp) with a trunk about 12" diameter.
  2. Beergeek

    Beergeek Self-Medicating

    Sep 14, 2005
    Caledonia MI
    Would it be possible to screw the two halves back together?

    If both parts are still connected to roots, would they gorw back together?

    I don't know. Just asking.

  3. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2005
    Bristol, ny
    The basic answer is no. However, it is possible that you could wrap the trunk and put stainless steel bolts into it to keep it together. That is of course if either side hasn't dried out yet. It will always be a weak tree though and the possibility is there for insect or disease. It would be a good idea to clean it first with a bleach-water solution to kill bacteria. twenty parts water to one part bleach works. The damage should be sealed with grafting wax too.
    OK, now, as far as using Tree-Kote or any other brand of black sealer....don't. They don't work to keep insects or diseases out. They are a placebo for people to use.I've heard of all kinds of remedies like cement and paint and hiring witch doctors etc. but the fact is your tree probably had a very narrow crotch at the top of the trunk. So over time the bark probably kept growing in between the crotch and the weight of the branches caused them to split. Occlusion its called. Spy is a very nice apple and originated in Bloomfield ny. It might make it but then you have to consider that if it dies slowly over a few years, would you be better off buying a new one now and cutting it down, or losing two or three years growth on a new one. Right now in Western NY I'm sure that if anyone has any fruit trees left to sell they are probably half price or more. Check around but make sure that the main branches have wide crotches between branches.
    Oh yeah...IMHO