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How to Repair a Broken Apple Tree Branch

Updated November 21, 2016

Apple trees are often planted along a garden path, in an orchard or as part of a wildlife food plot. Featuring soft woods and numerous off-shooting limbs and branches, apple trees are prone to wind, snow and ice damage. Limbs can easily split, leaving the tree susceptible to disease. Repairing a broken or split apple tree branch involves reducing the stress on the limb and mending the pieces so it can graft itself back together.

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  1. Remove weight from the broken apple tree limb before making the repair. Cut fruit, heavily massed branches and larger branches that place strain on the damaged limb. Make the cuts with bypass pruners and only remove as much wood from the limb as needed to reduce the weight.

  2. Raise the limb back into position so that the broken section is joined with the tree. Evaluate the break and carefully remove with a knife any damaged wood that could prevent a good connection between the broken pieces.

  3. Hold the broken limb together and wrap the break with plastic-coated small-diameter wire cable or rope. Tie the wire or rope around the limb below the break and begin the wrap there. Coil the wire or rope around the limb to hold the broken pieces securely together. Space the wraps 1 to 2 inches apart based on the size of the limb and break; extend the wraps beyond the break and tie it off securely.

  4. Wrap another length of the wire or rope around the trunk of the tree or a larger limb, then around the broken limb, to provide support. Place the wire beyond the break in the limb, pull the wire or rope tight and tie the ends of the support length so they are tight.

  5. Apply grafting wax along the edges of the break to seal out moisture and insects. Reapply the wax as needed as the limb begins to mend and grow back together.

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Things You'll Need

  • Bypass pruners
  • Plastic-coated wire or rope
  • Wire cutters
  • Knife
  • Grafting wax

About the Author

Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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