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Advice needed - taming a wild apple tree

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Advice needed - taming a wild apple tree

Postby TylerM4 » Sep 12th, 2016, 9:01 am

Well, after living in this house for 6 years, we finally realized that the wild crabapple tree in the back yard is actually a Spartan apple! It had been on the fence line, and left to go wild by the previous owners. No water, etc. This is the 1st year the tree was able to make apples and even wild, unpruned/unthinned we still pulled some very tasty apples off.

Anyway - now that I know it's not a crabapple, I'd like to tame it again.

I'm going to start by bringing water to it from the underground sprinkler lines (probably a drip system or something) and cutting back the surrounding wild vegetation (Saskatoon tree/bush growing through the middle of it).

I know I need to prune it badly, and it's full of bugs (1 branch is nothing but caterpillar web/nest). So it needs to be pruned and sprayed. Plus I think the SIR folks will likely be all over me unless I get the bugs out of that tree.

So I guess I need advice on the following:
- Pruning. How and when (think I need to wait until spring)
- Sprays. What and when.
- Fertilizer or anything else I should do/provide to the tree.
Thanks!

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Re: Advice needed - taming a wild apple tree

Postby TylerM4 » Sep 12th, 2016, 9:09 am

Already learnt something for google.

Grafting a modern apple branch to wild root stock is called "Taming a wild apple". Gotta try different search terms it seems.

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Re: Advice needed - taming a wild apple tree

Postby ferri » Sep 12th, 2016, 9:31 am

this might help some, once you get passed the first part about planting the tree. LOL

http://www.almanac.com/plant/apples
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Re: Advice needed - taming a wild apple tree

Postby oneh2obabe » Sep 12th, 2016, 9:32 am

Pruning Overgrown Apple Tree
http://gardening.about.com/od/treefruit ... e-tree.htm

Training & Pruning Apple Trees
http://eap.mcgill.ca/CPTFP_7.htm
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Re: Advice needed - taming a wild apple tree

Postby TylerM4 » Sep 12th, 2016, 10:02 am

Excellent! Thanks. I'm finding lots of youtube videos/instructions on pruning which has been great. I think I'm ready to hit that tree hard with some pruning sheers in another couple of months.

Spraying is still a bit of a mystery to me tho. So much conflicting/different info, so much depends on climate/region, etc. Really wish I could find something simple that says: Here's the sprays you should apply and when. I can research specific problems and treatments later, but would like a basic schedule to get me started. Think I'll head over to the SIR website next, it'll tell me what I need to do about coddling(SP?) moth at least.

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Re: Advice needed - taming a wild apple tree

Postby TylerM4 » Mar 8th, 2017, 9:27 am

Got out there last week and pruned the tree. Took a fair amount of wood off. I would have liked to take more, but I don't want to shock the tree too much.

Unfortunately - I also made a grisly discovery. Deer have ravaged the poor tree over the winter. They've nibbled off just about all of the buds. Since the ground is quite sloped where the tree was, they had the elevation to get most of the tree. Only about 10% of buds left on the very top.

Really disappointed :( I'm thinking I'll need to put a deer fence around it. Not sure if I want to invest the time/money on an unproven tree.
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Re: Advice needed - taming a wild apple tree

Postby Bsuds » Mar 8th, 2017, 9:45 am

If it has been ignored as long as you say then the Deer have been using it to feed on for awhile now.
Maybe get a larger sized dog to keep them away. Even a small one might but the Deer could beat up on it. lol
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Re: Advice needed - taming a wild apple tree

Postby TylerM4 » Mar 8th, 2017, 10:04 am

Yes, Deer have been ravaging my plants since we moved in. This tree is a little secluded so they like it even more.

We don't have a dog. A cat and 2 kids are plenty! I'd rather do the deer fence!
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