Crabapple - suggestions for eliminating reverse taper

Started this tree from seedling 8 yrs ago. 1 of 3; other two were planted in front of my house in memory of my parents. Sentimental therefore to me. Want to address reverse taper soon. Should I airlayer where reverse taper begins or chop at same point and regrow branching structure? When is best time for either approach?

ŚI think air layering is your best course of action. But you could consider thread grafting one or more of the long branchlets now into the thinner trunk area. Then next year airlayer and end up with two trees. Or you could air layer this season and then hope for back buds in the lower part, you may still end up with two trees but more left to chance in this case. If you don’t care about the thinner trunk section so much or aren’t sure about grafting yet, or in more of a hurry then just air layering this season.

As I understand the best time to air layer but I might be wrong, please check is after resources were allocated from the roots to the leafs on top but before they require so much water that the disrupted flow may be too much to handle when summer comes by. So I’d say as soon as you see hardening of the leafs.

1 Like

Maybe threadgrafting a whip or 2 at the base? Might take a while though.

Airlayer or chop, these are the two time effective methods. But what it comes down to in deciding which to do is… do you like the current base and nebari more or do you like the branching structure you’ve already built more. Chop to keep your base, airlayer to keep your branching.

One benefit with airlayering is you could get a really nice radial rootspread that becomes nicer than your current base. And on top of that there is a chance that the base could bud out below the airlayer and the base also survives, but this can be a gamble if you’re not leaving an already existing branch beneath the layer site.

One drawback to airlayering is it will take an extra year (though you would already have some branch structure grown).

Thanks. Had not considered the need for a branch below the airlayer to increase the likelihood that the trunk buds out. Likely to proceed in that manner and if lucky, will end up with two shohin trees.

1 Like

Just my opinion… Air layer at bottom of bulge now. Next spring, check roots. If ok, cut and pot. If you want to try…graft 3 new buds onto bottom from top ( after cut.). Disclaimer-- my grafting success is 1. My air layering isnt much better. Pines, ceader and oak.:joy: Apples are supposed to be eaiser. Read n study.

There is no try, only do…