Last year it dropped all leaves and fruit towards the end of summer, and
this year there is no growth on it at all.
Question: Should I remove the branch, and if I do, how close to the trunk of
the tree should I cut it?
I agree with David Ross about the copper spray to kill the peach leaf
curl. Be sure you remove all dead leaves and clean up the area aroung
the tree as it can harbor the disease. I think David meant to say you
should use a spreader and a sticker. The soap does the spreading, but
you need something else for a sticker. Without the sticker, anything
you spray may wash off too quickly in future rainfalls. You may have
to give it more than one spray of copper sulfate during next season,
but the early one done before the buds swell is the most important.
As regards your apple tree:
Check the branche first to see if it is still alive. All fruit trees
have a layer of growth called the cambium just below the bark. It is
a green colored layer. Just scratch off the bark in a small area to
check this. If the cambium is brown, that branch is dead and should
be removed. If the entire branch is dead, you can cut it way back to
the main trunk. If this branch is dead, is is probably doing no harm,
but it may be a future home for insects.
What a coinkydink... I spent most of today removing lower limbs from some
fairly large trees; three maples, two rather large cedars, and a good sized
white birch... because they had grown so large that their weight made those
limbs droop too low for me to drive my tractor under. And perfect timing, I
cut those limbs into useful lengths to keep the corrogated in my garden from
Actually that information at that web site is incorrect. When a tree limb
is removed the top of the cut should start out away from the trunk (about an
inch out from the limb collar) and slant inward so an "eave" is created,
this so that when it rains water drips from from the tip of the top lip and
not run down over the cut, and so snow does not accumulate on the cut
surface, or there will be a much greater opportunity for water to enter the
trunk, for decay to ensue inside the trunk and in winter that water will
freeze and split the trunk, in fact the kind of cut shown at that web site
actually guarantees eventual premature loss of the tree. And limb cuts heal
far quicker from the bottom up (up is how plants grow if anyone has
noticed). When limbing a tree the bottom of the cut should be as flush with
the trunk as is practical but still outside the limb collar. When limbing a
tree the cut should be made so that the cut surface remains as dry as
possible... the eave created is for exactly the same purpose houses are
built with eaves, so the exterior walls remain dry and don't rot. Just
about everyone does it wrong (back asswards)... even professional arborists
don't know how to properly limb a tree... that's because common sense cannot
be taught. I'm positive most of you, the very next time you limb a tree
will have forgotten, or it never registered, and will do it back assward.
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