Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Crabby Crabapples

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....

43 comments:

  1. Flowering crabs are among my favorite of the ornamental trees. Does this one bear usable fruit?

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  2. Morning to all,

    Really pretty leaves. I love Crabapple tress. Both the flowering ones and the ones that make GREAT jelly.

    Hope everyone has a good day.

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  3. Yes Nancy it does. Medium sized red crabs the birds love. I did not have too many last year due to the late freeze and drought, but I have my fingers crossed this year. It has suffered no disease.

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  4. Mom, i hope i can get enough to make some crabapple jelly. i used to make it when i lived in nc. i would add some mint and it was heavenly. love crabapple jelly. i am also hoping to make chokecherry and gooseberry jelly. Today is a garden day after grocery shopping. urrrr

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  5. Nancy J. Bond, you have a great blog with lots of wildlife. I have added you to my sidebar.

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  6. Good morning Dawn, it must be a cold walk to the mobile-soon! We use a cable modem. The problem only happens at night. Not sure the deal.

    It was ok because I was getting technical with fog and snow. Bottomline, i agree with Jack of all trades-to a point. The temp has to come into play with the fog and all. Anyhow, for fear of jinxing this again, I won't explain it all.

    That is crazy someone drove through the building. Someone did that down here but it was on purpose. He was trying to rob a gun store. That person will have to pay-all for a silly cell phone. Though I can see where they would be addicting. I added the comment here before I realized you were on the other post. You'll still get it though. Skeeter?! Where are you? It has been a long time for her.

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  7. I love crabs also, my in laws have two, a large one and a smaller one, about 10''. They do not spray either, one blooms pink, the other reddish. Very pretty.
    I didn't know you could make jams out of them, have to look into a recipe.
    Little birds out yesterday looking for food, Jack of all trades hung the last feeder. When will they discover them, can't wait to watch from my picture window. What's taking them so long!!!

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  8. Dawn, Put some suet out, they will find it pretty quickly. Niger seed also works to attract the finches fast. The sunflowers take a bit of time for chickadees, titmouses and cardinals.

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  9. Good idea, I have the hummingbid hanger to do that on. Are they going to eat seeds from the flowerboxes or anything going to seed? I'm putting in the hy. beans you gave me and impatients. Never thought of that, might be poor planning.
    Took me awhile to figure out what you were saying about me being on the other post. Easy to forget whats open.

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  10. Hi Tina, I love the dark foliage on your crab, also the blue of the pulmonaria. I agree, why not more crabs rather than those dreadful Bradford pears. The crab will last for many years and there are disease resistant varieties to solve that problem. I also agree the small trees are so fun and can be squeezed into an already packed garden, and don't forget fun with pruners! We have a sourwood that is now large enough to flower, the good thing about that one is how narrow the growth is, nice and slim so it won't shade or crowd out its neighbors.
    Frances

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  11. I put in a small crabapple last year. It was a tree from Arbor Day that my mother-in-law gave me. It already has a great deal of foliage this spring. It will definitely need suckering from time to time, although you know what suckers mean...propagation!

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  12. Yes Tina I also love crabapple jelly. It is much better than regular apple jelly. You well know I like chokeberry jelly as I used to make you kids help me pick the little things when you were kids. As the chokecherries are mostly the pit and very little meat it takes a lot to make the jelly. But I don't remember that any of you kids like the jelly. I am not fond of mint so would never put mint in my jelly.

    Dawn I will try and remember that Judy has crabapple trees and see if I can come pick some in the fall as I don't think she makes jelly so maybe won't mind me raiding the trees. Would love to have some as have not had any for yesrs and years.

    Boy it sure is windy today.

    Suet should do the trick. I had darn starlings at the suet this morning. I just don't much care for starlings but guess they are God's creatures also and do have to eat, so, oh well.

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  13. Dave you are so cute with your propagation. I love to see someone really passionate about things.

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  14. Ok Tina...I am going to try the newspapers in my beds. My question is can I rake all of the muclch that is already there back, put the papers down and then add new mulch or would you lay the papers on the mulch already there and then new mulch on top?

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  15. dawn, i would HOPE very much the birds eat your seeds from flowers. i love it when they do here-just not the seeds i plant! lol

    frances, i so hope you do a post on your sourwood. if one of my crabs dies, that is what i am planting-or serviceberry. i never heard of these until recently and would love to learn more. i like it is slim and yes-love those pruners!

    dave,if your crab is happy it will grow very fast. i can't believe how much this particular crab has grown. i am glad your arbor day seedlings are growing.

    mom, it was great talking to you. not sure of the problem with my pesky phone. maybe the cable company. starlings have to eat too. they are migrating and won't probably stay around for long. i remember the jelly you made. i love homemade jelly.

    jillybean! so good to hear from you. my mom and us all like your blog very much. they are the cookers, not me but my mother likes all you do and that your posts are short! should be a hint to me. yah?

    you can rake the mulch back and add the newspapers. newspapers are key. oftentimes people think the mulch is enough. no, it needs an extra boost. i also use brown paper bags and am distressed as i am all out of both! i have two more gardens to go that need them! gotta go shopping i guess....

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  16. Tell your mom I said THANKS!!! Also tell her to log in tonight for a new post about a new recipe. It isn't going up until late this evening so that I can hopefully put a picture of the new dish in as well.

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  17. Tina,

    Hello,

    the rust problem is a big problem in my yard, lots of cedar. I planted other trees that are cute and ornamental like Rusty Blackhaw, redbuds and serviceberries and a Hawthorn... I need to remember to clean my pruners better! Thanks for the reminder.

    Gail

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  18. jillybean-she heard.

    gail, rust is a pain. i see the galls all the time but it needs a long period of moist warmth to actually complete its life cycle on the malus species. that is why it is not more prevalent. you've posted about rusty and i think your hawthorn-the serviceberry? i love the fall color.

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  19. Hello Tina, another day in the yard.

    We have a beautiful flowering crabapple tree that is about 23 years old. It is absolutely beautiful when in bloom. The birds enjoy the fruit. I have always thought that they were not edible.
    I make jelly each year from elderberries.

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  20. testing, will try again.

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  21. Hi Nina and Lola!
    Nina, maybe you could take a picture of the crabapple when it is bloom as I would love to see it. I love them. The crabapples are edible. I steam mine in a colandar over some water for a few minutes, then let them sit in a cheesecloth over a bowl for the juice to drain. They do make great jelly. I have never had elderberry jelly. I don't even think I know this berry. I will have to check it out. Does it grow wild by you or did you plant it? I haven't been in the garden yet, but soon will be.

    Lola, it worked now? I had a spammer on my plant of the month post so I was trying something different. I don't want to lock you out though so I switched it back. Glad you told me. I have to watch this closely and see if spammers become a problem, as they have been for other bloggers at times. Thunder and lightening? It is so calm here and nice. A bit cool but perfect for working in the garden.

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  22. Tina, yes elderberries are wild. I pick mine on the home place. You see them along the roadways. I have been told that they also make good wine! Didn't Elton John have a song about elderberry wine?

    I will send you a picture of the tree it is beginning to bloom now.

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  23. Tina,
    You MUST of seen elderbery, it's the slender plant with low foliage, the berries are dark blue, they are high atop of the single stem, berries form in a crown. The stalk looks like it would break, it's so spindle like.
    Nina, That's a good idea for wine, never thought of it for jelly. I tried to transplant this berry when we first moved here, I think I got it during the wrong time of growth. It is abundant up here.
    Yes, I do believe EJ had a song about it.....

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  24. Hi Ya'll, Hope all had a beautiful day. We had a little shower, which we needed. Thunder to, sounded mean, just making noise.

    I would love to see the pic too of the Crabapple in bloom. So pretty. Wish I had the room for one. I also would like a dogwood. I want a lot but don't have the room.

    Nina, do take a pic of the Elderberry plant. Would like to see it. I can't in my mind pic it. I too have heard of Elderberry Wine. It should make good jelly also. My Mom used to make jelly in winter from orange juice. I had the recipe but can't find it now. It was good. Seems a lot of things can be made into something wonderful to eat.

    Dawn, since Elderberry grows wild there do you think it would have been in N.Y. I can't remember ever seeing it. Back then I didn't see much of anything, too Duh.

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  25. i love it when everybody talks together.

    hey-anyone visiting PLEASE take my survey-i am really interested in finding out about people and gardens. thanks! mom!

    nina, again, i have no idea what elderberries are. botanical name? i guess i could google it. don't know the ej song.

    dawn i don't remember them off hand-old timers disease?

    lola-i love jelly-sounds intriquing. i have heard of elderberry wine.

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  26. Guess we have all heard of elderberry wine. But I don't ever remember seeing them. I also bet they would make good jelly as do all berries. My sweet tooth would like to try it.

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  27. Jean, you are funny. Sweet tooth indeed. Have you ever had Poke Salat? lol

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  28. Lola I have never even heard of Poke Salad. Do tell us what it is.

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  29. yes, please tell mom and all of us what poke salat is like to eat. it is a story. i grow it like crazy in my garden and never knew what it was until my mother in law told me about it. i haven't been brave enough to eat it and i don't like it in the garden even if it IS a pretty weed.

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  30. Tina, you must try poke salat, you cannot live in Tennessee and not try it. Really, it is good, taste a lot like spinach. I talked my husband into trying it and of course he didn't like it!! There is a lot growing around the edge of our yard also.

    Lola can tell you how to cook it, there is a special way to prepare it.

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  31. Poke Salat, comes from the Poke weed. As a rule it is poisonous---in the fall it has real dark berries--Don't eat. Anyway in the Spring when it first comes up you get the young tender leaves--wash real good--cook in water like any greens. pour off the water the first 2 times cooking. Third time cook in fresh water, season as you would any kind of greens. It is good, yes, taste like spinach. It is a Spring tonic of sorts. Momma always cooked it every Spring. We stayed healthy.
    Every body in Tennessee should know what it is & have tried it at least once. It really grows best in new soil, so they say, but near edge of woods, and I have seen it in fields. Just wherever.

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  32. I've never heard of that, like plantain?

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  33. nina, i know i am awful about not trying poke salat or even knowing what it was when i first moved here. maybe i'll be brave this year, i sure grow enough of it! lol

    dawn and lola, i prepared a post on poke salat. i may post it tomorrow. i have so many posts prepared i may have to start going twice a day! so much to say i guess. we know how i am wordy. lola thanks for the poke salat pics. i think it is one of those north/south posts like the yucca tulips. though the yucca tulips was more of fun thing for everywhere as no one here heard of them before. though people are still laughing-right nina? nice to make people happy. mine are still up for a while longer. they look like i just put them up-last forever. good night all. try to stay dry!

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  34. I really like the yucca tulips and the poke salad sounds interesting but I think I will pass. LOL Sounds like a lotta work for something I would not like anyway.

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  35. I forgot to mention Poke Salet is good in scrambled eggs also. Tried it myself. Good.
    Anyone had any Ramp?

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  36. Oh Lola you got me again. What is Ramp?

    I fry some onions and then add summer squash and then scramble eggs in it. That is also very good.

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  37. Yep Jean, that does sound good.
    Ramp is a wild veggie that is a cross between an onion & garlic. It looks like a green onion, But is it ever LOUD. If you eat one you may as well eat a dozen cause you're gonna stink just the same. It is very good. You can also cut them up & cook with them. I pickled some one time & they are good that way--just like fresh ones. Boy, wish I had some right now. You guessed it---it grows in SMOKEY MTNS. also & you are allowed so many by law.

    Morning Ya'll. Have a super day.

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  38. I have heard of ramp, never had it or poke salat. Good to know info!

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  39. Now that sounds good. The way I like garlic and onion I bet I would eat it and like it and not care about stinking.

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  40. Jean trust me you would love it. Put it in scrambled eggs. Make any kind of salad, like chicken, egg, tuna or whatever, if you like onion or garlic in it you will like Ramp. I don't know if it's canned commercially or not, will have to search.

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  41. That makes two of us liking Ramp.

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  42. Funny, you should have followed my younger son around school the yr we brought some back from SM. He ate some before he left for school. I laughed my head off when he came home & told about the day. Have you ever listened to a person with a dry sense Of hummer. Even better coming from him. Ahhhh, fond memories.

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