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Is my apple tree dying?

I have a few very old apple trees and one is not happy! It has been propped up for a number of years after blowing over in the wind but has been happy like this and has borne fruit for the last 3 years or so. This year there was very very little blossom on it and now not a single fruit. The leaves are turning brown and yellow and falling off completely. Is it dying? Has it got a specific disease which I can treat? Should I prune it right back even though it is not the season for pruning? Help! What can I do to save it?Shoul


  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,811
    If it blew over it will have suffered root damage. It may just be too old to recover from this. Is there any sign of disease around the props? They look like they are rotting down and won't be doing the tree any good.

    How damp is the soil under the tree? If it is badly drained that could have led to poor root growth making it easier to blow over.

    One of my old apples is suffering from blossom wilt and a couple of years ago lost all its leaves early like yours. It is recovering slowly as I prune out the dying blossoms to try to prevent wider problems with canker and brown rot but sometimes we just have to accept that its time has come to an end.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    It looks like it is weak and likely suffered from a combination of drought earlier this year or last year and possibly also has a dose of apple scab.  When it blew over, it likely lost some roots so is now struggling to get enough water and food to the leaves.  To give it the best chance of recovery, I would clear a 1m circle around the base of all grass and weeds, gently work in a bit of fish, blood and bone fertilizer to the bare soil and mulch the surface with a 10cm layer of well-rotted farmyard manure or home-made compost.  Give it a couple of bucketfuls of water once a week until it goes dormant and all the leaves have fallen.  Rake up those fallen leaves and burn them or put in black bin (do not put on compost heap) to prevent re-infection from any pests or diseases they may carry.   If you also give the tree a 'winter fruit tree wash' after all the leaves have fallen, that will reduce the numbers of several types of pest and fungal spores which overwinter in cracks in the bark etc.
    If it doesn't significantly pick-up by next summer, the root damage may have let some type of root-rot in, in which case probably best to give up and take it out.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • As you said it fell over and there must of been so root damage also you said i was old so i might be too old to recover? Or it could have some kind of root rot sorry but i don't know how to cure root rot as i dont have fruit trees 

    Hope i helped 👍
  • Joy*Joy* Posts: 571
    I would suspect that the effort needed to get it going and the time to allow before you get any fruit would be much greater than if you replace it. If you buy a tree of a decent size, you will get some fruit next year.
  • Thank you all for your advice.
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