It is one of the prettiest times of year in my opinion. Not only are we enjoying the return of greenery as a bonus we get to enjoy the show that flowering crab trees put on. These trees you’ve likely noticed covered in different shades of red, pink, or white blossoms are a gorgeous addition to any yard.
They can be a tree that you notice in the spring and think wow I’d like one of those and then forget until the calendar comes around to spring again. These trees aren’t just a nice addition in the spring, however, they can produce fruit for humans and/or wildlife, add visual interest, and fall color.
Some people assume that flowering crab trees are messy. That doesn’t have to be the case. Many varieties have very small fruit and some have no fruit at all. The small fruit is loved by birds who will happily eat the berries throughout the winter months.
While the flowers are clearly what grabs your attention, that shouldn’t be the first thing you focus on when selecting a flowering crab tree for your yard. The factors you want to keep in mind when choosing a tree are:
- The size the tree will eventually reach
- The level of scab resistance
- The fruit
- The flowers
Flowering crab trees come in several sizes and shapes. It does no good to plant a cute little tree in a spot that it will outgrow in a few years. Think long-term when selecting any tree. Flowering crab trees also need a good amount of sun, say six hours of full sun per day for best results. A tree planted in the shade of other larger trees may have a hard time blooming.
Some flowering crab trees are prone to problems with scab. If you walk a nursery in the fall you can easily see which trees are prone to that issue. Selecting a tree that looks healthy in the fall is one step toward a good selection. However, if the blooms have you ready to plant one now ask your nursery for a variety that is scab resistant.
Give some thought to how you feel about the fruit. Do you want to make crab apple jelly? Do you want to provide the birds with a winter buffet? Or does the thought of some berries on your manicured lawn make you twitch? The answers will help to determine which varieties will work best for you.
Lastly and finally the flowers! The blooms come in a range of red-white. Perhaps deciding is too challenging and you’ll need a couple.
These beautiful trees put on quite a show. Don’t delay in enjoying it though because it doesn’t last for long. If you add one of these trees to your yard or if you already have one I highly suggest sitting under it for a few minutes. Look up to the sky. The umbrella of flowers is lovely. There is nothing quite like it. Each spring they dazzle us and one windy day or a rainstorm can put an end to the colorful display.
If you need help selecting or planting trees we are here to help.