Flowering Crabapple Trees
By Jan Cashman • Posted on March, 24th 2018
For a quick overview, see the comparison chart/table below »
Care and Planting
Plant the graft (the bulge near the union of root and top) at soil level. Leave a depression around the tree for a watering well. Frequent watering (once or twice a week depending upon conditions) is necessary the first few years (and thereafter, during extremely dry periods) to establish a healthy tree. Cultivating around the tree and a fertilizer program will encourage good flowering.
Diseases And Pests
Trees must be protected in the winter from Voles and Mice by wrapping with screen or some material through which rodents cannot penetrate, up to the bottom branch. Repellants or fences are needed in areas where Deer might be a problem. Also, the trunks should be wrapped to protect from Sunscald which can blister and split the bark in the winter.
“Fireblight” is a bacterial disease that attacks flowering crab trees and others in this family. It affects young twigs first, traveling down the shoot. The bark may look watery, dark green and oily and eventually splits. Leaves on affected twigs die but hand on. Fire Blight is spread by insects and wind and is seen more often after wet springs. To control, plant resistant varieties. Prune out infected branches being careful to sterilize pruners between cuts to avoid spreading the disease. Also, the tree can be sprayed with streptomycin or copper sulfate. Spray just before blossoms open and then continue every four days. Do not spray after fruit has formed. Spraying will not cure Fire Blight but may prevent its spread.
Cedar Apple Rust
“Cedar Apple Rust” is a fungal disease that needs both cedars (upright junipers) and apple trees to complete its life cycle. The fungus forms galls on cedar trees, but it does the most damage to apple trees, forming yellow spots on the leaves, and fruit and causing early leaf drop. So, if possible, do not plant apple trees near upright junipers. Control cedar apple rust by spraying with fungicide such as Fung-onil just before the blossoms open, again when the blossom petals are falling, and twice more up to the middle of June.
“Scab” is a fungal disease that forms olive-brown velvety spots on leaves and young fruits. To control, remove and destroy leaf and fruit debris in the fall. In the spring, spray with a fungicide such as Fung-onil.
Flowering Crabapple Tree Varieties Comparison Chart
|Variety||Bloom Color||Fruit||Foliage||Height / Shape||Hardiness / FireBlight|
|Bechtel||Double Pink||Little if any||Fuzzy Green||20 ft / Vase||Zone 4 – Susceptible|
|Dolgo||White||Crimson 1″ Fruits, Good Jelly||Green||30 ft / Spreading||Zone 2 – Resistant|
|Gladiator||Bright Pink||Reddish Purple||Bronze-Purple||15 ft / Narrow||Zone 2 – Resistant|
|Louisa||Pink||Gold||Green||15 ft / Weeping||Zone 4 – Resistant|
|Radiant||Deep Pink||Red – Persistent||Green||20 ft / Round||Zone 3 – Resistant|
|Red splendor||Pink||Red – Persistent||Reddish-green||20 ft / Open||Zone 3 – Susceptible|
|Ruby Tears||Pink||Dark Red||Red-Green||8-10 ft /Weeping||Zone 4 – Resistant|
|Rudolph||Dark Pink||Red – Persistent||Bronze-green||16 ft / Upright||Zone 2 – Resistant|
|Sargent||White||Dark Red||Dark Green||8 ft / Wide||Zone 4 – Resistant|
|Spring Snow||White||Fruitless||Bright Green||25 ft / Round||Zone 4 – Susceptible|
|Thunderchild||Pale Pink||Dark Red||Deep Purple||15 ft / Upright||Zone 3 – Resistant|
|Tina||White||Red||Green||10 ft / Spreading||Zone 4 – Resistant|