I like small trees, especially since I have a ton of large trees. I just can't fit anymore large trees in but I for some compulsive reason, just seem to want to add more small trees.
Crabapples fit the bill though had I known about better small trees such as serviceberries and sourwood, I would probably have added a few of them instead of the three crabapples I did add. What is done is done.
This particular crabapple was purchased as a three foot tall tree at Rural King in 2003 for $10. I am fairly certain the cultivar name is 'Prairiefire'. Just look at that foliage! It is the only red crabapple I have growing and it is stunning. The flowers come out a maroon-pinkish and are fairly big.
This crabapple has grown from a 3 foot tall twig to a 10'x10' upright tree. I have continually pruned it in order to ensure a good shape in its old age. One thing all crabpples are prone to do is to sucker.
The second picture shows some bright red suckers already growing. This is a bad trait of the crabapples and the only thing you can do is to prune out the suckers-constantly.
I wish more people would plant these trees around the area. Cherry and Bradford Pear trees seem to be the preferred trees in landscapes. I agree they are very pretty but a variety is nice too.
Crabapples can be prone to some diseases and I have a few friends who absolutely hate this trait. Some of the diseases they are prone to are: Cedar Apple Rust and Fireblight. Since I do not spray or treat my plants, I have to live with these diseases should they rear their ugly heads. My way of dealing with them is to prune out the infected areas, ensuring my pruners are sterilized with diluted bleach in between cuts. I can honestly say I have not had much of a problem. Fireblight did affect two of the three crabapples but I simply pruned away the infected branch. This particular variety of crabapple has not been affected by any diseases.
The pretty blue plant to the left of the crabapple is my March Plant of the Month. I will post about it later, but the name of the cultivar is 'Trevi Fountain' to give you just a taste of what is to come-a bit of Italy maybe?
in the garden....