One of the most breathtaking of the flowering trees is the crabapple. A particularly hardy tree that will flourish in almost all areas of the United States, the crabapple is a beautiful addition to any garden, lawn or landscape. Here's how to keep that crabapple tree flowering and flourishing. Crabapple trees are very popular for being able to provide aesthetics throughout the year. They give delight in all four seasons. During springtime, the delicate colors of the buds and leaves of crabapple trees can be very pleasant. The buds can be of one color and the opened flowers can be of a different hue.
Come autumn, the fruits of the crabapple tree will surely match the life of the environment. The fall makes the colors of the fruit become even more vibrant while the snow during winter can provide the best accent to the landscape. Flowering crabapples are definitely the best pick for use in your own home, even in schools, parks and commercial areas.
The flowers of crabapple tree are to be expected in full bloom during late April up to middle of May. There are classifications of the flowers of the crabapple tree. There is the single type with only five petals in it and the semi-double has six to ten petals. The double type has more than ten petals. Double-flowered crabapple trees will be able to keep the flowers longer but the fruits are not abundant. The colors of the flowers can range from the almost pearly white, delicately fine pinks or even a deep red. Some can even grow crabapple trees with flowers having coral or salmon color.
Growing Crabapple Trees
Find a place to plant the tree. It should have full to partial sun, with soil that is well drained. Make sure the tree has plenty of space to grow; depending on the variety, they can reach heights of between 12 to 40 feet.
Choose the right time to plant. Trees that come with root balls can be planted at any time during the spring and summer. Bare root trees should only be planted in the spring.
Dig the hole for your crabapple, and make sure that it is just shallow enough that it will not completely cover the root ball of the tree. (For bare root trees, make sure the hole is large enough to comfortably fit the roots with no bending or cramping.) Loosen the soil around the perimeter of the hole, to make sure that the roots of the tree will be able to grow into the surrounding soil easily.
Separate some of the roots from the root ball as you're planting. Make sure they're positioned downward, to give them a good growing start.
As you are filling the hole with the soil you've removed, keep watering to make sure any air pockets are removed. Water thoroughly when you are finished replacing the soil.
Make sure to keep the tree well moistened. Mulch can be used to insulate the tree, but be sure to keep the tree trunk free of mulch.
Keep grasses away from the base of the tree, as they will steal valuable moisture and nutrients.
Keep a close eye on your tree for any signs of disease or pests. Make sure the leaves, flowers, fruit and bark all continue to look as healthy as they were the day the tree was planted.
Tips & Warnings
- The fruit of the crabapple tree isn't a fruit to be eaten raw, but can be made into jams and jellies.
- The crabapple's fruit is also a favorite of wildlife; some varieties will hold onto their fruit through the winter, making them great for attracting winter birds. Plant a crabapple somewhere where you can enjoy the sights from inside.
- When mowing around a crabapple, be careful not to chip the bark and trunk, as you could do permanent damage to the tree.
Other important things to remember
1 Type of Soil
The growth of the flowering crabapples will depend largely too on how well the owner selected the site where it will be planted.
It is best to check the nutrient and ph levels of the soil that will best suit the crabapple.
Crabapples can best grow in rich loam. A loam basically is a combination of sand, clay and salt.
This flowering tree can also grow in other soil types. Just make sure that it gets a good drainage.
Maintain good moisture in the soil but avoid getting it excessively moisturized.
Acidic soil best supports the crabapple like with a pH ranging from 5.0 to 6.5. If needed, make the proper adjustments to make the environment favorable to the tree.
2 Exposure to Sunlight
Flowering crabapples require direct exposure to sunlight throughout the day to ensure the development of the flowers, as well as the fruits.
This means the trees must be planted on locations where they can access the sun for at least eight hours every day.
3 Avoiding Plant Stress
Crabapples are very sensitive to stress. Unfavorable environmental factors can affect the development of these trees.
The stress can result to a very unhealthy disposition of the plants like poor color of the leaf or scorches.
Some of the factors that can stress the crabapple include insects or pests, lack or excess in water supply, insufficient sun exposure or even kids who may damage the tree.
How to Prune Crabapple Trees
1 Cut out all dead wood or diseased wood. Take the time to go over the tree thoroughly and make your cuts with a sharp pruning saw or shears.
2 Remember that the flowers are borne on last years' wood, so any pruning will affect the next bloom and fruiting. In the early spring, remove all the suckers that are growing straight up from the main branches.
3 Remove any branches that are crossing over another branch. They will block the light from the other branch and the movement of the tree could cause the branches to scrape together.
4 If the bowl of the tree has become too thick, remove a few key branches to allow air and light to enter. Make sure to make clean cuts and not pull the bark down.
5 Finally prune any sprouts that start growing from the base of the tree. The sprouts will only interfere with the other branches as they get larger and collect leaves against the base of the tree.
Tips & Warnings
- Use molasses traps to control coddling moths in the spring.
- Keep June Beetles away by handpicking or traps as they can cause severe damage.
Plant Height: 15-25 feet tall
Plant Width: 15-25 feet wide
Landscape Uses: Containers,Beds & Borders,Privacy,Slopes,Groundcover
Special Features: Flowers,Attractive Foliage,Fragrant,Fall Color,Winter Interest,Attracts Birds
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