Crabapple trees can make a lovely addition to your landscape or home orchard. But how do you choose the right one? There are so many varieties and styles to choose from. Often those home improvement stores that sell trees in the spring offer such limited information on the tag that making a choice can be daunting. We can get so caught up in spring fever that we make an impulse purchase forma store or mail order catalog without having given the decision the necessary thought.
Pick Your Spot
First, you need to know where you intend to plant your crabapple tree. Is it going in the orchard because you want edible fruit? Perhaps it is the focal point of your front or backyard. If you have a small area, that will also play a part in your decision. Are there utility lines that pass over the site? A taller variety would not work well there.
What Style of Crabapple
Crabapple trees come in a variety of styles. Some are compact bushes that reach only 8 to 10 feet high like the Sargent and Candymint varieties. Instead of tall single trunks, these grow many stems and spread to a maximum range of 12 feet around. Then there are the flowering varieties whose fruits are nut edible. These can be standard trees or graceful weeping varieties. And finally there are fruit-producing trees which come in dwarf and standard sizes.
Pick the Mature Height
Dwarf varieties like Tina and Select A top out around 8 feet. These can be ideal when you don’t want to overwhelm your landscape of have a small space to work with. Standard sizes both in the flowering and fruit-producing kinds average between 15 and 25 feet tall. A few larger specimens can reach between 30 and 50 feet.
The Showy Display
For aesthetic value, many people like the look of a weeping flowering tree. Others are satisfied with traditionally shaped trees. If the ornamental value is what you are seeking, crabapples offer a wide range of options. Flowers are almost all pink in the bud stage but they open the blooms can be white, pink, rose or red. Some varieties have single blooms with 5 petals or semi double or double flowers with many petals. And don’t forget the fruit. From reddish-orange to deep reds, a tree laden with tiny crabapples as fall approaches is another splash of color to liven up your scenery.
Weigh your possibilities carefully, particularly if you are limited in space. Taking the time to make the right choice is important. You will be living with your crabapple tree for a very long time.
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Caring for Your Own Apple Tree
Tips for Pruning Older Apple Trees
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