need advice on OLD apple tree

Nathaniel N Horton horto006 at
Sat Oct 12 23:31:10 EST 1996

In article <53i4to$ms9 at>,
Maarten van Helden <maarten.vanhelden at> wrote:
>In article <sacharof-0710961034230001 at>, 
>sacharof at says...
>>We have a really old apple tree in our backyard, it's probably 90+ years
>>old.  We used to get lots of apples off of it for making pies, but
>>recently the apples ALL have worms in them and are basically just all
>>funny looking.  Do y'all think the tree is nearing the end of it's life or
>>maybe it's an improper ph or fertility thing.  We don't 'tend' it at all. 
>>I'm sure the soil is the wrong ph for an apple in Seattle. 
>>Should I put compost or mulch around the base of the tree and give some
>>dolomite lime to it in the spring? Or should we cut it down and plant
>>another one?   (Probably not very likely to happen at all)
>The main reason probably is not wrong PH or old age but PRUNING. Apple trees 
>need pruning. If the plant gets too many branches the yield will go down and 
>too many apples will mean many small and malformed apples. Get a good book on 
>pruning and prune the tree to a better structure, if necessary get an axpert 
>to help you (he might do it out of interest for such an old tree. 
>||\\  //||  Dr. Maarten van Helden
>|| \\// ||  Dept. of Entomology
>||  \/  ||  Wageningen Agricultural University
>||||||||||  Binnenhaven 7, 6709 PD
>||      ||  Wageningen, the Netherlands
>||      ||  Tel +31-317-485118 Fax +31-317-484821
>||      ||  Email: <maarten.vanhelden at>
Pruning, maybe, but the fact the writer (Sacharof) says all the apples have 
worms makes it sound like apple codling moth or some other insect and not a 
pruning problem.  Being that you (Dr. van Helden) are in Entomolgy makes me 
think you have substainial knowledge in the area of insects and such, but it 
still sounds like it could be a pest problem instead of pruning or pH to 
little ol' me.  I would recomend (to Sacharof)trying an extension office from 
one of the regional Uni's- I don't know what or even if UW has an Ag or 
Horticulture Dept, as WSU is very strong in both areas.  In fact, the 
best thing to do would probably use Gopher to find the WSU extentionists 
and email them.

	Good luck w/ yer apples!

	Grey N. Horton
	Grad Student
	Dept. of Horticulture
	U of Minnesota
	(Damn it's cold here already!)

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