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Mulching a concrete apple tree!


One of my apple trees has had a concrete patio built all around it right to the trunk. 

Its about 50 years old and pretty healthy but I would like to give it a feed any ideas?

Also It's got a hole where an old branch was cut out years ago and fills with water should I be concerned about rot etc?



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 71,927

    Oh dear, your apple trees don't seem to have much luck do they?  

    If this one is healthy and fruits and you want to continue to look after it I can see no alternative but to gently remove the concrete from around it's trunk and replace it with good topsoil and well-rotted farmyard manure.  I would want to give it a clear circle of soil of at least 6 ft in diameter, preferably 8ft,.  

    However has the poor thing been getting any water at its roots?

    As far as I'm concerned, if the concrete stays you might as well give up on the tree image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • BluebaronBluebaron Posts: 226


    Hi Dove,

    Thanks for your advice. I am trying hard to work this huge new garden i moved into a few moths back. Unfortunately for this tree it is very close to the side of the garage wall. There is no way I could even give it 1 foot all around.

    The nearest concrete free area is around 2 foot away so I'm guessing it gets the water from there. Maybe I could mulch this area but I will probably end up feeding the ivy that covers the garage/shed.

    It's a very large tree and I pruned it back quite hard yesterday (took around 1/4-1/3 off canopy).

    I'll try and post a photo tomorrow.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 71,927

    That would be good - we'd get a better idea of what you're up against image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • BluebaronBluebaron Posts: 226


     As Promised a concreted in Apple tree!

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 71,927

    Oh bless it!!!!!!!  It's not often I'm speechless but .......



     My guess is that the tree's been there a lot longer than those buildings that have crept around it  ..... that's a venerable tree and I bet it looks fantastic when in blossom ..... but what to do to keep it happy and healthy ???????????????????

    Any ideas anyone? image


    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,160

    I'd try and relieve it of its concrete collar, trees continue to spread in the trunk throughout their life. Concrete up against it like that will cause rot as the bark reaches the hard stuff. I wouldn't worry about getting nutrients close to the tree, the feeding roots will be beyond that concrete.

    If you can cut off that stub end with the hole it would be healthier for the tree. Hopefully the hole and rot won't go right through to the main trunk. Water collecting is not a good way to got.

    If you've left any stub end like that in you pruning, cut them off right back to the branch they emerge from. Stub ends with no leaves on them, (leaf buds at this time of year) don't survive and that's where the rot gets in.

    NB. I know nothing of growing apples but I can't see they'd be different from any other trees.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,067

    Couldn't agree more - break up the concrete near the trunk so there's a few inches gap or the tree will strangle itself as the trunk continues to grow in diameter.  The only part of a tree that is truly alive (apart from the leaves, flowers and fruit) is a thin layer just beneath the bark known at the cambium.  The stuff we call wood in the centre of the trunk and branches is actually dead.  If the cambium get strangled all the way around the trunk , the whole tree will die. image This link explains it better than I can:


    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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