[NAFEX] strange bloom times/winter damage

David Doud doudone at netusa1.net
Tue Jun 10 22:45:31 EDT 2003

Helene wrote:
I would be very interested to hear what this group has to say on the best
way to prune a fruit tree that is half winter killed. Do you cut back the
branches that show very slow growth. Is it permanent damage or will they
pick up? What do you do in the case of a tree with a 2 inches trunk, quite
dead, except growing two new strong sprouts a foot and a half above ground?

my comments: - often the site of the damaged vascular tissue is at the crotch where the limb meets the trunk - take a knife and see if you can locate the dead tissue - scrape the bark and see if it is green or brown - if the necrosis is extensive,  there is no hope - if it is signifigant,  the bark will slough off andthe tree will eventually fail/limbs break where decay enters at that point - no good either way,  and not much to do about it - altho the tree may survive and produce for a few seasons following moderate damage - the sooner you get rid of the limbs showing extensive damage,  the more time the tree has to try to cover (compartmentalize) the dead area - 
the 'quite dead except' tree,  probably the best thing is to remove entirely and put your efforts into something with more of a future - otherwise,  cut away the dead,  select one of the sprouts and encourage strong growth such that it surrounds the cut with living tissue in 3-4 years,  before it crops and breaks off at that point - it is not unlike the situation where you would have cleft grafted at that level - support for the shoot is indicated - 
regards,  DOUD - zone 5z
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