THE AGRONOMIST ANSWERS ON HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR PLANTS
Over 60-year-old apple tree shot down last night in Lodi by a violent storm (water bomb)
QUESTION OF IOLAND
Dearest I am writing to you because this morning, with great regret, we had (my family and I) a sad surprise.The very strong storm (worthy of the subtropics) that raged last night on Lodi - we are in the middle of the Po Valley - he also made a 'victim' in our garden: a historic apple tree (ha, he was over 60 years old) was cut off in the middle of the trunk, and now the broken part lies waiting to be removed. And next to it the only last (!) 3 apples produced.
In reality we know very little about the plant: we do not know its species and my husband, who has lived since he was born in this house, does not remember anything about its origins. about 30 years, the plant, which was very rarely pruned - the last one last winter -, has never undergone any type of treatment (neither fertilization, nor pesticide at all), but continued punctually, up to a couple of years ago, between September and October, he gave us his exquisite red and yellow "meline" when fully ripe, apples which, although more and more numerous, have greatly reduced in size.
I am sending you some photos taken this morning as evidence of your situation to ask: it is possible that, by sawing the trunk where it is broken, and perhaps with some intervention other than your competence suggests, the plant can resume producing new branches and therefore flowers It is certain that new twigs (which I promptly eliminated so as not to weaken our old woman) sprout from its base continuously in spring-summer, could they be the ones to give us a new plant?
I don't know what else to add except my thanks for your possible reply and my best regards.
how sad to see the plant reduced to this state. In any case, do not despair, all is not lost. The plants, as you have noticed, have dormant buds also along the stem which, especially when you are in situations of this type, can awaken and start new branches.
So here's my advice: cut the trunk obliquely just below the gash and put plant putty in the wound to avoid both the wound becoming a preferential route for parasites and suffering another partial dehydration stress. See how you need to cut. The cut must be oblique because in this way the water will not stagnate on the wound.
To help her you can make a nitrogen fertilization at the base of the plant which will help to promote growth. After that ... wait. I'm sure new shoots will be born.
You could also retrieve some pieces of the branch and wrap them in a cloth that is kept constantly damp. In the meantime, you can buy another apple tree on which you can graft the recovered cuttings. Obviously grafting is not something you can do. You can ask in a nursery if they can show you a person or in an agricultural faculty in your city.
If you have any doubts write me again and in any case I would be happy if you kept me updated.
Dr. Maria Giovanna Davoli
IOLANDShall we give ourselves a you
Then I thank you infinitely for your kind, prompt and clear reply.We proceeded to cut as indicated, and we noticed that, while the upper part of the trunk that was eliminated was partly hollow and black (rot?), Luckily the part remained after the cut seems intact.
However, there are many ants in the garden this year that also travel the length and breadth of the apple tree (and manage to get inside it seems to me through some cracks). I was suggested to spread (at the base, around the garden?) NEXA ANTS GRANULAR, do you agree?
Hoping not to have abused too much of your competence and availability, I greet you with warm cordiality and sympathy.
Hi Iolanda, of course we are talking about you. I have a hard time calling people her so, perhaps arbitrarily, I say you to everyone, hoping they won't be offended ...
So, let's think about ants since I don't know how much you know about these insects. I say this because it is important to know how they live and their habits, in order to deal with them in the most effective way possible and less harmful to the environment, since we are going to use chemicals.
Ants are social insects, like bees or termites, and live in more or less numerous families, depending on the species, from a few tens to millions of individuals, all governed by a single ant, the queen, the only fertile one. of the family. Therefore, all ants, be they male or female, have the same progenitor. Within the family these ants are divided into castes in order to make the anthill work: there are the workers in turn organized between doing the housework, raising the offspring, defending the nest etc. Important for our purposes is to understand how they feed. For many social insects, and therefore also for ants, trophylaxis works, that is to say the exchange of food (and at the same time also of the royal pheromones with which the queen keeps the family under control). This is essential for the purposes of the fight. In fact, using suitable poisoned baits, it is possible to bring the poison inside the nest and with the exchange of food, poison the other members of the family.
In these cases, therefore, it is not necessary to use an insecticide that acts by contact, because in this way only the ants you meet would be killed and not the bulk of the family that is the one in the nest, with the queen. Besides this, the ants, seeing that in a certain place the companions die, would give the alarm, would change their path and would no longer take the poisoned bait.
The best thing to do therefore is to use delayed-effect poison baits: the ants that find the bait eat them and then, when they arrive in the nest, they share this food with their mates, poisoning them too. The baits must therefore be positioned in their path, in order to find them easily, and possibly as close as possible to the nest. Follow the ants and try to figure out where they go and where the nest could be.
The insecticide you pointed out to me Nexa ants granules(read its technical data sheet) it acts both by contact and by ingestion (it contains 0.02% fipronil) therefore, based on what I wrote above, I would not use it. Better the Baythion Bait Ants(read its technical data sheet) which acts only by ingestion and not by contact and is made up of imidacloprid (0.05%) and a sugar-based food attractant, therefore with an enticing action, which induces the ants to bring the product in the anthill and to use it as food for the entire nest.
Follow the directions on the package and be careful not to overdo it. Use only the doses strictly necessary and near the anthill or near the cracks from which the ants come out.
Good luck and if you keep me updated, I'll be happy.
Dr. Maria Giovanna Davoli