Although the fruits of Crab apple trees are sour to the taste when they are eaten raw, their flowers are sweet to the eyes when they are in bloom. Actually, the fruit is mostly used only for making jellies. The plant itself, because of the beauty of its flowers, is generally used as an ornament.
Genus and Specie
Crab apple trees belong to the family Rosaceae from the Genus Malus. There are 35 natural species. Common species include the Malus sylvestris and Malus fusca, native to Europe and the USA respectively.
Crab apple trees as ornaments
It is not unusual to find Crab apple trees in parks and home gardens since many prefer their blooms which usually grow in clusters of white, pink, or red. The tree is actually a favorite for residential landscaping. They prove to be a delightful sight all year round.
The flowering Crab apple trees give a great show in spring due to their emerging blooms. Unopened buds may hint of a color and as it opens itself up, another color may be revealed, as if it was giving some kind of a flower display.
Caring for Crab apple trees
Are you thinking of planting Crab apple trees in your garden? You have made a good choice since this tree’s flowers in bloom is such a sight to behold.
Just like most trees, Crab apple trees require a full sun from above and a loamy soil from below in order to thrive. It is recommended to plant the tree either in spring or in fall.
Watering Crab apple trees is only meticulous on the first year of planting. It is done once a week during spring and summer and once a month during autumn and winter. After a year, it only needs occasional watering during dry periods.
Pruning is a necessity for any tree especially for an ornamental one like Crab apple trees. This is to ensure good growth for its branches. Any damaged or diseased branch ought to be cut off. It may also be wise to cut off branches that cross into other branches so there is a fair distribution of sunlight to all leaves of the plant. Trimming the plant is usually done after the flowers have stopped blooming in spring.
Although new varieties of Crab apple trees are now tolerant of disease, it still pays to know the common plant diseases that affect this tree. Here are a few of them.
This disease is seen on the leaves of Crab apple trees. It is caused by a fungus which usually begins on emerging leaves. You will notice a raised black spot on the leaves. As the disease worsens, leaves become yellow and eventually drop. Treatment is with the use of fungicides applied to the leaves.
This disease is seen on leaves and branches of Crab apple trees. It is caused by bacteria. You will notice that the affected area appears to have been burned by fire, hence the name of the disease. Leaves are blackened and twigs appear shrunken. Best treatment is cutting off the infected part of Crab apple trees in case they are infected.