Four-Season Interest of Flowering Crabapples
Written by: Ron Gumz, Certified Arborist MN-0324A
As we start to turn the corner from winter to spring, we look forward to all the benefits that spring has to offer. The robin and cardinal’s songs begin to set the outdoor background music ushering in the spring. Grass is rebuilding its green color which is the first step in regaining the color palette of the landscape away from the gray and white colors of winter. Soon after, trees become flush with leaves and many impress us with their annual flower show.
Crabapples are most well-known for the spectacular flower show in the early spring. This is the time of the year when these trees have the opportunity to show off their finest beauty. Several tones of white, pink, magenta, and red flowers accentuate their dazzling display. These bursts of blooms can provide a visual feast worthy of taking an extra minute to slow down and take it all in.
As the year moves forward, these crabapple trees bask in the sunlight that summer provides. As autumn sets in, the fruits begin to show more prominently and the leaves begin to fall. The winter provides accents of white on the branches. For those crabapple varieties with persistent fruit, it provides color when the rest of the landscape entails mostly gray and drab color tones.
This is how crabapples are designed to perform in the landscape. Many crabapple varieties hold up to this expectation since they are generally resistant to disease issues like apple scab. However, Apple scab is a fungal leaf disease that will cause lesions on the leaves. These fungal lesions often cause premature leaf drop in summer. If you see your crabapple’s leaves showing lesions which can often make the tree look ‘muddy’, or if the leaves drop during the growing season, then that may be an indicator of apple scab. This is where preventive treatments provide an option to keep your tree healthy and beautiful.
Most crabapples show a noticeable improvement when they are provided with preventive fungicide applications. Many clients have been very thankful for this improvement in their trees when treated.
If you suspect that your crabapple has been suffering from apple scab and would like some additional information about it, please get in touch with your Wachtel Certified Arborist. If your crabapple is due for treatment this spring, then be sure to send in your prescription letter to ensure that your tree is prepared for the coming year.