Q What’s wrong with my el­derly ap­ple tree?

Karen Green­bank, Lan­cashire

Gardeners' World - - Q & A -

PIPPA SAYS This looks like a ‘Cox’s Or­ange Pip­pin’, which can be tricky to grow well. The gin­gery­brown mark­ings on the fo­liage are Cox’s spot, but it’s not in­fec­tious and can be rec­ti­fied by feed­ing and mulching through­out the grow­ing pe­riod. It is of­ten made worse by ex­treme weather con­di­tions, which this year has had. The over­all shape and col­lapse of the tree is more wor­ry­ing. Try re­mov­ing some of the out-of-place branches this win­ter, but only if it im­proves the over­all struc­ture and shape of the crown. Along with plenty of TLC, this may im­prove the tree’s health, but it may take a few years. One al­ter­na­tive is to start afresh in a new spot with a young tree that can be pruned and shaped from the out­set. Eas­ier-to-grow va­ri­eties with a sim­i­lar flavour in­clude ‘Sun­set’ or ‘Sun­tan’, both of which have ‘Cox’ in their parent­age.

Ap­ple trees need prun­ing to form a good struc­ture. Cox’s spot (in­set)

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