Old Gravenstein apple tree

M_ Bravo
21 days ago

Hello experienced gardeners –

We have a very old Gravenstein apple tree in our backyard. We had to chop about 1/3 of it off four years ago when we bought the house because of obvious rot issues. Since they, I have tried to get it back to health, and last year it had about two dozen small apples and a lot of new branches. This spring, after pruning it during the winter, what I believe to be wooly aphids have set up shop, as some of the new leaves are curled and ants can be found underneath. Also, the tree has been inflicted with some type of white scale in a lot of places. The aphids and the scale, as well as photos of the tree, can be found below. The tree also has a big hollow hole where the branch had to be chopped off three years ago. And the tree’s bark is hanging off in big chunks.

Question: has this tree reached the end of its life? It seems wrong to not try to get this tree back to health, but I think perhaps it is time to remove it. I hesitate because a part of me feels like such an old tree deserves

another chance. I bought two crabapples (a Prairie Fire and a weeping Louisa) this spring to plant nearby to help pollinate it, but now I am concerned that the aphids would set up shop in these two new crabapples.

I welcome your advice.

Thank you!!!

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