crab tree with problems

Asked December 16, 2016, 4:37 PM EST

I have a crab tree that has a virus and had some damage. I had someone that looked at it and they said that they could to try to fix it or take it away. The tree is the center object of our back yard. Any advice?
David Gamber

Denver County Colorado

1 Response

This is really a personal choice for you to either treat the crabapple or remove it. You mention that it is the center object of your back yard, which sounds like you really would like to save it.

It would help us advise you on treatment if we knew what the virus was that was diagnosed. Most crabapples don't get viruses, but instead have lots of problems with rusts and scabs, which are fungal diseases. Also, the past few years in Denver have been especially bad for fire blight, a bacterial disease.

If your tree is very old, or badly damaged, other than having a disease, then you might consider replanting. But if the tree is younger or can be treated, you should ask the arborist how often it would have to be treated (annually, ever 2 or 3 years, etc.) and how much each treatment would cost. Another question would be how effective the treatment would be and whether or not the arborist would have to prune it regardless of the treatment. If the pruning is severe, then you could take that into consideration on how the centerpiece of your backyard would look if the tree were smaller or without many of its branches.

If you'd like to know more about the disease, please email us again with the disease diagnosis, or get a second arborist to look at the tree and give you more of an explanation on various choices and costs for each.

It's not easy to give up a tree that you love, so please consider all your alternatives and make your own informed decision.