We have an apple tree which we think is circa 5 years old. It is around 8 feet tall with trunk diameter of around 4cm.
The tree has been strangled by a strap which was left in place around 3 feet above the ground level. Everything below the strap has grown well with fruit on the tree. We noticed the strap 5 weeks ago. Above the strap the leaves were less plentiful and have subsequently died and fallen off. The wood of the branches appears dead above the strap. Below the strap things remain healthy.
My questions are as follows:
1) should I just leave the tree to see what happens next spring.
2) should I cut the tree back and if so to what level (above or just below the place where the strap was).
3) If I do cut it back is it likely to grow a new central stem from below the point I cut it back?
I would very much like to keep the tree if possible. I am not concerned about the appearance of the tree, just trying to save it.