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in Problem solving
I have a little apple tree that has been dying with what looks and sounds like canker. I've decided to cut my losses and dig it up.
I would like to try a plum in the same place. Will it be affected by the apple canker as I'm sure the ground is likely to be infected a bit?
Anyone any ideas?
I don't think canker is transmitted via soil, but as it affects trees under stress, I'd hesitate to plant another fruit tree of any kind there, at least without checking the drainage and soil condition first. What's the soil like in that area?
Thanks for reply - only picked up today as no internet connection. It is heavy clay soil. I think the graft may have let canker in and it was planted during that very wet summer 2012, so perhaps too much for it.
I'd dig a serious amount of grit and compost into that area to improve the drainage, after which it should be fine. One way to check drainage is to first dig a hole about 18" (45cm) deep, when it's forecast to be dry for a few days. If a puddle appears at the bottom after a day or two and doesn't drain away, then the ground is waterlogged and most trees won't like that at all. If that happens you can still improve things by digging a trench towards a lower part of the garden, filling the bottom with rocks, hardcore or gravel etc covered by a sheet of weed membrane before re-filling the trench with soil. Quite a lot of hard work but it will be a long-term fix.