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older apple tree: ok to take out leader in order to reduce hight

6 years ago

sorry, I hope I got my point across (not my mother tongue...)

current situation: I took over an older cooking apple tree, stem about 3 feet high

it was neglected for the last 8 years+,

the shape is ok-ish, there is a central leader, even though it is ziczacking quite a bit,

and there are some main branches, which I need to prune & adjust further


the main problem is with wormy apples and actions against it

I did some research and it seems that a spray with an organic oil solution would help quite a lot


the tree canopy is so hugh that I just can`t cover the whole thing using my simple pressure spray thingy (with a hand pump mechanism), balancing on a ladder

last year -and it looks like tis year also- there seem to be only wormy apples which fall down early, don`t store at all and are just not great,

so I wondered if I could take out the central leader, reducing the general hight and hopefully ending up with a shape that would allow me to spray the whole canopy.

I`m tired of only iffy apples and I reckon that it would shorten the life span of that tree, but I feel like chopping it down anyway if I can`t get a decent cropp from it,

not perfect, but at least some unpunctered apples.

Stepps taken so far: collecting all apples from the ground and binning them,

glue collar around the stem (didn`t seem to make a difference)

experimental pheromone trap (its moth count was very high, pointing to: take further action, spray ... in the manual)

any thoughts, anyone who did something similar?

Thanks for input, bye, Lin

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