Most people are familiar with crabapple trees in the landscape and have grown to love the many different varieties available to consumers. Crabapple trees bloom white, pink or rose-red in May, and most varieties produce red or yellow fruit in late summer. Some berries are persistent, meaning they hang on through the winter, providing food for birds through the cold months. All crabapple tree have yellow fall color in late September and October. Crabapple trees can be as small as 6 feet, or as large as 25 feet. Weeping forms have become more popular lately, such as the old variety ‘Louisa’ or the maroon leafed ‘Royal Beauty’. Over the last ten years, growers have started to breed crabapple trees for disease resistance as well, but a simple spray program combined with proper pruning can alleviate the disease problems commonly associated with crabapple trees if the older varieties are what you prefer. Some popular varieties include:
‘Spring Bride’: (pictured above) A taller variety, growing 15-25 feet tall and about 20 feet wide. The buds are a light pink and open to double white flowers that follow the branch upward. Fruit production isn’t as heavy as other varieties, but it still produces some yellow-orange fruit in late summer.
‘Tina’: A true dwarf, growing only 6-8 feet tall and about 8-10 feet wide. The flowers are white and form red berries in late summer. Foliage is highly disease resistant. Yellow fall color offsets the red berries.
‘Marilee’: (pictured above) A tall but columnar variety at maturity, it grows to about 25 feet tall but only 10 feet wide. The rose-pink buds open to light pink-white flowers. It is virtually fruitless, so if you don’t like the messy berries, this is a great variety to have in your landscape.
‘Golden Raindrops’: An interesting variety because of the cutleaf foliage and yellow berries. Flower buds are light pink and open to white blooms. Bark is a lighter tan or copper color, making it stand out in the winter months. Mature height is 15 to 20 feet.
‘Spring Snow’: Probably the tallest variety in our garden center, reaching a mature height of almost 30 feet. Pink buds open to single fragrant white flowers, but few to no fruit is produced each year. Foliage has good heat tolerance.
‘Prairiefire’: A very popular variety because of the dark rose colored flowers and maroon foliage. At maturity, it can reach 20 feet tall and wide. Red berries are persistant through winter and attract many robins when they return in early spring.
|Rose Tree of China (pink blooms)and the Flowering Crabapple
‘Spring Snow’ (not yet in bloom),
planted in a bed in the garden center.
If you like the spring blooms of the crabapple tree, but don’t want the mess left behind by the falling berries, there are some other options for you. The tree form of the Rose Tree of China (double flowering plum or flowering almond are other names for this plant) is quite popular with its double pink blooms and short stature, and the ornamental pear trees provide a show in spring with their white blooms, and red foliage color in fall.
Flowering crabapple trees have been a staple in the landscape for many years. They add beautiful color to the spring garden and because there are so many varieties, you can usually find one variety for any given space in the landscape. If you’re unsure of what variety would work best in your landscape, stop by our garden center and speak with a garden center representative. If you have an existing flowering crabapple tree that seems to suffer from disease or insect problems each year, call our plant diagnostician, Jessica, and she can set up a time to talk with you at the garden center or at your home.
|Flowering Crabapple ‘Pink Princess’ inthe garden center bed|