Apple tree base - bark eaten away

Asked April 17, 2017, 7:13 PM EDT

Some creature ate way the bark all around the base of several of our apple trees up in Longville, MN (Cass County). Whatever it was chewed from 6 to 8 inches from the ground up. All but one of the trees had fencing around it. Can the trees be saved? What steps do we take to try to save the trees the fruit they bear?

Cass County Minnesota

1 Response

I am sorry that the barks of your apple trees were removed all around their trunks. The leaves on the top will not be able to feed the roots so the roots will starve and die. Some trees may leaf out and remain alive for one season, but both the top and root will die the second year unless shoots have been produced below the girdled areas. You might try a bridge graft, which is described here: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/fruit/grafting-and-budding-fruit-trees/#bridge-graft

Unfortunately, it takes practice to be good at grafting.

Here are some links on preventing wildlife damage in the future:

http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/wildlife/rabbits-and-trees-and-shrubs/

http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cfiv/homeowners/041123.html http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/wildlife/trees-protecting-from-rodent-damage/