Apple tree problem in PA.

Old 02-25-16, 01:59 PM
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Apple tree problem in PA.

I am having issues with an apple tree in Western Pennsylvania. Despite my hatred for dealing with the fruit that falls from the tree, it is a beautifully shaped tree and the focal point of my back yard. For the past few years I have had to cut out more and more dead branches. There is green moss growing on the trunk of the tree and a white scale-like fungus on many of the branches. The yard gets plenty of sun, but once the foliage is on the tree, the thick canopy does not allow much to grow under the tree other than moss. Tent worms have also been an issue in recent years, but I try to cut them out immediately once I notice.

Any advice on how to save this tree would be much appreciated!
Old 02-25-16, 03:14 PM
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A picture of the overall tree and close-ups of what you think are problem areas would help a lot. Moss and lichen are common so their presence is not a red flag in it's own right.

Do you know how old the tree is?
Old 02-25-16, 04:21 PM
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Haven't had a fruit tree for many years, but back when I had an apple tree, an arborist told me to keep it pruned so the interior was very open and there was plenty of space for ventilation. She said a lot of the diseases that plague apples were aggravated by the leaves and stems staying damp, that it was best for the tree if the dew or rain dried early in the day.

I always think of that when I drive by the commercial orchard at the end of my street; all the trees look almost bare and spindly, but in season they are loaded with apples.

It might be worth it to have an arborist give you some advice. If there is a local extension service in your area, they often have good information on fruit trees as well.

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