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Strange root growths from apple tree stem

Can anyone help identify what these root-like growths might be? They have appeared on our apple trees, grown from pips from the apples in my parent's garden (species unknown). Plants seem healthy otherwise and have flowered as usual this year. It has us all stumped! Thanks
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  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,989
    edited June 2019
    If the apple trees were grown from pips they won’t be the same variety as the apple they came from. In the same way,  your mother and father are who they are and you, your brothers and sisters are all different people but are also offspring of your parents, so apple pips are individuals - every one different from their parents and from each other.😊

    Are the apples any good? You have created new varieties.

    Anyway, that is by the by.

    The knobbly pink things are aerial roots.

    I assume that the trees are growing on the roots that they were born with and haven’t been grafted into rootstocks?

    Is the ground round the trees very dry? The aerial roots are seeking out moisture. 

    Maybe clear the soil from around their trunks if it is overgrown and apply water in dry weather. They do no harm, they just look odd.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • kevin447kevin447 Posts: 5
    Thanks Pansyface, the trees have not been grafted and whilst the ground is far from perfect (previously planted with a large, overgrown leylandii hedge) it has has good soil added and is well watered and drained. Should I add some additional feed when watering do you think? Glad to hear the aerial roots are mostly just a visual oddity.
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 30,560
    edited June 2019
    Hi @kevin447 Sorry @pansyface but I have to disagree with you those are Apple tree crown galls on your tree and I'm sorry to say that your tree is doomed and should be removed and destroyed.

    More information here:


    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • kevin447kevin447 Posts: 5
    Yikes @Ladybird4 that sounds rather more concerning! If this is the case, Google tells me that not only should the tree and surrounding soil be removed, but that subsequent planting of apple trees is ill-advised. My question then is, can I safely plant other things in the border e.g. Clematis or other climbers (it is backed by a neighbours wood panel fence). Is there any treatment that can be applied to the soil to get rid of the bacteria that caused the problem in the first place? Interestingly, I live very close to Pershore Agricultural College and showed the photos to the staff in their retail centre, but they couldn't identify the problem!
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 30,560
    I cannot honestly say @kevin447. I'm rather surprised that Pershore couldn't identify the problem. It would appear that the bacteria get in through wounds and that they can live for years in the soil. I haven't read all the way through this but there may be some more information here that will help you.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,989
    Whoa, LB. 😊

    Apple crown gall produces nasty necrotic looking brown lumps. Like this



    Whereas this tree is producing nice, lively, little orange jobs.

    Now, I’ll meet you half way and suggest that these roots are not entirely wonderful but not sign that the poor old tree is on the way out.

    Take a look at this

    https://ask.extension.org/questions/399837

    😁

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,989
    More on burr knots or burrknots here

    https://www.growsonyou.com/kasy/blog/25580-an-apple-tree-disorder

    There’s even a Welsh apple variety called Burr Knot, it’s so prone to the problem.😁


    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 3,043
    edited June 2019
    I have no opinion on what the knobbly growths are, but if the trees are flowering and fruiting well and the foliage looks healthy, then why not keep them and see what happens? If it is crown gall, apparently it infects plants through damaged bark so if you have any other susceptible plants nearby be careful not to damage them.  And disinfect your tools if/when you prune the apples (that's good practice anyway, although I'd bet most of us don't do it as much as we should).
    Edit: if that's a piece of green wire around the tree in the second pic, I'd remove it before it cuts into the bark. That won't do the tree any good and could let in other diseases.
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 30,560
    I think that the roots showing have developed as a result of the upper galls restricting the water uptake to the upper part of the tree. That picture you have posted is similar to the pictures of parts of Kevin's tree. Here is another picture:


    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • kevin447kevin447 Posts: 5
    That could make sense @Ladybird4 as the galls are in the first few branch intersections and the pink, fleshy root-like growths are towards the bottom of the main trunk nearest the ground.
    As @JennyJ has suggested, they are not doing any harm and were only really grown for fun by the children, so I will leave them be and see what fruit is/isn't borne this year before taking more drastic action - providing they don't get sick and die off in the meantime!
    I will certainly post some photo updates if anything changes over the next few weeks.

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