Empire Apple Tree – mature tree – branch question


Hello – I am questioning the condition of 2 branches. Attached are pictures. It is in the middle. Last year around June, I did cut a branch as it died. I can not seem to download the file….should I put into a PDF?


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners. I am glad you were able to mail the photo.

It is difficult to make a definitive diagnoses from the picture. There is definitely a problem.

How long ago was the tree planted? The issue could come from how it was planted. Does the trunk flare as it approaches the ground or does it go straight down? If it goes straight down then it is too deep. Another issue could be cracking from frost. If that is the case you can often find roots just under the soil that are strangling other roots by the trunk. There are also several Apple tree diseases that could be the problem.

From the picture it looks like the other branch may also have issues. The best thing to do at this point would be to consult an arborist. Landscape Ontario has lists of certified arborists who can come by and look at the tree in person. They can see if the issue is from planting or if there is a pest or disease that is affecting the branches. They should also be able to give you options to deal with the problem.


Good Luck, I hope you can figure out the problem and save the tree.