Facts and Steps to Plant and Care for a Flowering Crabapple Tree
If you are looking to bring the most out of your front yard during springtime, a crabapple tree is definitely one of the top contenders when it comes to ornamental trees. When crabapple trees blossom, they produce spectacular foliage that varies from white to pink to deep red. The green canopy also adds to the tree’s colors with their orange, red, yellow and maroon crabapples during the fall season. Aside from their colorful fall foliage, what makes crabapple trees a good pick is the fact that it is drought tolerant and a lawn friendly size!
Planting your crabapple tree
Picking a site
Planting a crabapple tree and nursing it to full health isn’t too difficult! They do their best in full sun and need to be watered regularly during their first year. Crabapple trees are an adaptive species and do well in dry soil so make sure you avoid planting them in wet or low lying sites. You must also keep the soil well drained and just slightly acidic. Also, pick a site where you are sure that they can get at least 6 hours of sun.
Picking your crabapple tree
Crabapple trees, like other trees, are vulnerable to several ailments and diseases. Luckily, there are disease resistant varieties available in the market. So when you head on down to the farmer’s market, make sure you ask for a disease resistant variety.
If you have a bare root crabapple tree, you must plant them early in spring whereas, if you have burlapped, balled or container grown trees, then you can plant them in summer, spring and fall. These optimum times provide the best conditions for the crabapple trees to adapt and stabilize themselves into your yard’s ecology. When planting a container-grown crabapple tree, make sure you plant it at the same depth that they were in the container to let the roots establish themselves properly.
Caring for your crabapple tree
During the first year of your newly planted tree, you must provide it with a regular and adequate amount of water which is 1” of water per week. The first year is crucial because the tree’s roots will adapt themselves to their new environment and establish the tree there. After the first year, when the tree has developed and adapted properly, you won’t need to give it supplemental irrigation except for times of extreme drought.
Even though crabapple’s drought resistant nature will allow them to endure through the drought season, it’ll be at the expense of next year’s fruits and flowers. So, providing them with water during the drought season will protect their ability to produce a healthy bloom the next year. You don’t really have to fertilize the soil until and unless you notice a stunted growth, pale yellow trees or poor fruits or bloom. The low maintenance crabapple tree doesn’t require much pruning either other than the occasional shape up or removal of dead branches. However, do not prune your crabapple tree after June or next year’s bloom will be severely compromised.