I shredded an apple tree today. Our trees are really small and so it didn’t take very long, and it all fit easily in my electric shredder. I was able to dig the root ball out in about 10 minutes, and all that’s left now is a hole in the ground waiting for a new tree to arrive in the mail this week.
We live in a city lot and the apple trees must be irrigated almost year round, so I don’t have room for losers. Poor Lord Lamborne made the fatal mistake of producing inferior apples three years in a row, so I cut it down and shredded it in front of all the other apple trees to warn them what happens around here if you don’t produce (my mother-in-law says she noticed this too and tries to pull her own weight so she doesn’t get tossed out also).
If you’re wondering why I don’t just topwork the tree, grafting another variety onto the rootstock, its because our warm climate stifles the vigor of the tree and more often than not it lacks the vitality to recover. The scion will send out a nice shoot but the bark on the other side of the trunk dies to the ground and borers inevitably move in to finish it off. I’ve learned through bitter experience its best to just plant another tree, which will bear in a year or two anyway, even if started from a benchgraft.
We’re planting Cameo in its place to give it the torture test of our hot climate. I have about a dozen other trees ordered that will need holes also, and so I’m looking around for other underachievers to pull out to make room. Tough time to be an apple tree around here…