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How to save very large fallen apple tree

joanna.crawfordjoanna.crawford HertfordshirePosts: 6
our lovely large and very old apple tree fell over in the winter. About half of the roots were exposed, so we thought it unlikely to survive. We put some soil over the roots and now it is in leaf with some small fruits. It is blocking most of the would it be a bad idea to remove some branches now or better to wait until winter? Any help gratefully received.




  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 20,053
    I would get a tree surgeon in to cut off all the branches and cut the trunk into reasonable sizes for removal or storage for a wood burning fire.   Once dried you could also get mementos cut from the wood - ornaments, benches, small seats, make a log pile to shelter insects and small mammals.   

    Buy a new, small apple tree on a dwarfing rootstock to have apples and more space but plant it somewhere else, not where the original was.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 770
    I have stood them back up again and it works, but they fall over at the next storm, it's not worth trying to save it.
  • BrexiteerBrexiteer Birmingham Posts: 955
    Bin it mate
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 2,783
    edited May 2019
    Our cherry tree fell over when a spring changed its course and its roots got rotted on one side.
    I left it (large garden so could afford the space, until I have time to deal with it) and it has created a new leader from one of the upper branches. I am going to let it do its thing but remove all other branches, as the fallen trunk will be partly hidden by a rhododendron.
  • joanna.crawfordjoanna.crawford HertfordshirePosts: 6
    Thanks for your replies. I would like to give it a chance to survive if possible, but as it it blocking a path, do you think now is a good time to cut off some of the main branches or is that likely to kill it off...would it be better to leave until winter?


  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 16,695
    Maybe worth contacting these people. They are apple experts. Here, on their website, is an old tree that fell over and was saved.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 14,243
    If it is a rare variety, try and get bud wood grafted on to a rootstock or other suitable tree. I wish I had done this with a tree that was next door to us that was in a poor state. No one could identify it , but it was a lovely apple.  If it is a common variety, I would replace with a new one on dwarfing rootstock.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • joanna.crawfordjoanna.crawford HertfordshirePosts: 6
    pansyface said:
    Maybe worth contacting these people. They are apple experts. Here, on their website, is an old tree that fell over and was saved.

    Thank you very much for this link...have contacted them for advice.
    Many thanks. Jo


  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 3,825
    Be interesting to know what they say - let us know?

    If it were me, I'd do what I need to make it possible to keep it - tip it up, prune it back, whatever - do my best to get the roots covered and hope it survives. No point keeping it if you can't use your garden as a result. And given half a chance, lots of plants will live in spite of all sorts of misadventure and mismanagement. They generally want to live.
    “This isn't life in the fast lane, it's life in the oncoming traffic.”
    ― Terry Pratchett
  • joanna.crawfordjoanna.crawford HertfordshirePosts: 6
    I have been in contact with as suggested by pansyface. They have been extremely helpful and say that the tree has a good chance of surviving. They advised pruning much of the top of the tree, removing branches which are keeping the trunk off the ground and letting the trunk lie flat in contact with the soil. New shoots should emerge from the trunk. Their webiste is very interesting, showing how tree which are 200-300 years old can rejuvenate when they fall over.
    Thank you pansyface!


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