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large hole at bottom of trunk of old apple tree


By Junie

Essex, United Kingdom Gb

We are renovating an old garden. When clearing out a rose bush that was surrounding the base of the trunk of an apple tree, we found a large hole in the trunk, full of dirt and worms. We have cleared that out, should we refill it with anything, and more importantly is the tree now beyond saving? Any advice would be welcome. We pruned the branches last summer, and there seems to be quite a lot of blossom appearing on it now. Regards.



The earth (not dirt) and worms was natural nourishment for the tree, it is no good putting it back, but if you don't like the look of the hole fill it with old turf which will again become earth and worms.

5 Apr, 2009


My grandmother has half a dozen old apple trees in her garden, many of them have various holes and openings in them. The important thing is to remember that on a tree only the outer woody bit and bark is alive the central heartwood is not used in getting nourishment up to the leaves anymore. So long as there is a bark covering about two thirds of the circumference of the trunk the tree should be able to function perfectly well - as the blossom is showing.
If you dont want to see the soil in the cavity - you could always put a 'fairy door' over the opening or plant it up with something like semperviremns.

6 Apr, 2009

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