The Q&A Archives: Fallen Apple Tree

Question: An apple tree of ours was knocked down by a storm 3 years ago. Surprisingly the tree is still doing great and producing an abundence of fruit but since the tree lies on its side, there are branches coming out of the bottom half of the tree trunk and also producing fruit. Would it be possible for me to cut off the top half of the tree and have the remaining portion of the truck grow if we were to prop up the base of the tree so it would not touch the ground and grow straighter?

P.S. hope this made sense to you!!!!

Answer: Aren't trees amazing! I see two possible problems with doing this, the first being that sawing off a substantial portion of the original top at the trunk will create a huge opportunity for insects and disease to enter the trunk; the second being that moving the trunk further (by propping it up) may just break the last surviving critical roots that have kept it alive this far. It will also take years to reform the tree even if it is successful. Having said that, if the tree is really unacceptable the way it is then it's worth a try!

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