The Q&A Archives: Apple Tree - Reborn

Question: Hi there,
I had an apple tree that died years ago. Not sure what kind, I adopted it with the house. The stump has since rotted away. However, the drip system kept watering the area and the tree started to sprout about a year ago. The suckers have now grown to 5 feet and are blossoming. Can I prune this apple

Answer: I think out of curiosity I would just let one or two of the suckers grow. Prune the rest down so they don't overcrowd the one or two trees you want to keep. Most apple trees are grafted onto a vigorous rootstock so there's no telling whether or not your trees will develop edible apples. I suspect that they are crabapples. But even if they are, crabapple trees are beautifully flowering landscape trees. I'd just wait and see. If they do develop fruit and it actually looks and tastes like an apple you can properly prune your apple tree. If they turn out to be crabapples, you can prune it into a full, rounded canopy instead of pruning for fruit.

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