Fruit trees are a beautiful addition to any garden, and it’s delightful to enjoy fruit you’ve grown yourself. There are some issues that come along with fruit trees, and one of these is splitting of branches or the trunk. Fortunately, you can often employ preventative maintenance to avoid split trunk or branches in a fruit tree.
What causes these problems? Sunburn is the primary cause of split branches. To prevent this, take care to plant your fruit trees where the roots will have sufficient growing space, and make sure your trees have sufficient water. Speak to an expert about pruning your tree properly, as the right foliage will help shield the tree from the sun. You can also whitewash your tree trunks with diluted interior latex paint to protect it from sunburn. Prevention is key to avoiding breakage due to sunburn.
There are other reasons for branch and trunk breakage, as well. Sometimes these problems are caused by injury to the tree, and some split trunks and branches are caused by disease, herbicide, or pests. A trunk canker, an area of dead tissue on the tree, can be caused by pathogens like black rot, bacteria, and certain fungi. While antibacterial can sometimes be used to keep disease from spreading, many trunk diseases cannot be treated and require cutting out affected limbs or even removing the tree. Herbicide can sometimes contribute to these cankers, allowing disease to gain a footing in the tree. If herbicide seems to be the problem, work with an expert to find a solution. If you need to remove a tree, you can try to regrow it by cutting it to a stump below the canker and hoping for a water sprout. It may be more practical, however, to remove it and plant a new tree.
If the break or split is not caused by disease, the tree can sometimes be repaired. If the break has not gone all the way through the wood and there is no sign of disease, you can attempt a repair by removing all the fruit from the branch, pulling the two sides together, and connecting them manually. You can tie them with cable ties or tape them with budding tape or even bolt together a split trunk. It may be necessary to support the break with rope or baling twine while it repairs itself, and you’ll need to leave the bindings in place for a few months. Remove them before they get too tight and keep an eye on the limb to see if it heals correctly. If the repair is successful, make sure to deeply thin the branch that was previously injured, to avoid a recurrence of the injury.
While your tree is healing from a break, make sure to keep it well-watered and fertilized. Talk to the experts at Moon Valley Nurseries, where we’ve got a wide selection of fertilizers to help your tree grow strong and healthy, repairing the damage that was done and preventing future breaks. Our Super Charged Moon Juice, in particular, is extremely helpful in promoting recovery and giving your tree the boost it needs to thrive.
Whenever you need expert advice on trees or other plants, reach out to Moon Valley Nurseries. Moon Valley Nurseries started as a small neighborhood nursery garden center, and now has locations all across the West. We deliver and plant anything in our massive inventory, and because we grow our plants ourselves, we can give our customers the lowest prices in town, guaranteed. Whether you need ground cover, a tree or two, or an entire landscape, our friendly staff members will go the extra mile to make you happy. Contact us through our website, call us at (602) 388-1529, or stop by to check out all we have to offer, from the best trees and plants to professional crews and planters to certified designers ready to make your yard the best in the neighborhood.