Girdled Apple trees

Asked April 2, 2020, 5:39 PM EDT

The rabbits girdled 100% circumference of all my 2 year Apple trees about a foot above ground. Is there any grafting of any kind that can be done to save them? A couple of websites said you can cut young trees off at 45% angle and they will regrow and train one to be main.

Any advice beyond wrapping better??

Richland County North Dakota

3 Responses

I had three apple trees last year with the same type of damage. I cut off the trunk just below the damage, at an angle and they did come back with a new main. I don't know if yours will do the same, but it's worth a try. Grafting can be tricky unless you know how to do it. It was strange, because the rabbits only did damage to Honey Crisp; no damage with the Sweet 16. We used the white plastic protectors but because of the high snow levels, the rabbits were able eat the bark just above the protective cover. Good luck.

I don't paint the cut with anything? Just cut it and leave it?
Thank you!!

Correct. We don't recommend painting the wound or cut any longer.