Years ago the sump pump failed and the basement flooded at Rurikia; a portable pump with a temporary outlet into the driveway was used to pump it dry. Unfortunately the flow routed through the orchard directly to the Golden Russet tree on M.7 roots. The tree had been one of the better growing trees in the young orchard, but the sustained stream of discharge water managed to wash out it’s roots and it began to lean. A range of efforts were undertaken to try and return the tree to a vertical state and then, failing that, to simply solidify the tree at a lesser degree of lean. The tree generally responded and new growth began to turn back to vertical, but it left the tree in a structurally awkward state with random branch angles and no good way to address them short of taking the tree all the way back to the roots and hoping a new shoot would develop, which seemed a bit drastic.
In the last couple of days a combination of factors including tree structure, fruit load, and wind contrived to help make that decision easier by breaking off the most vertical of the branches just above a newly forming shoot. Assuming it manages to surive the deer, this winter may well see a further reduction of the old tree.