Flowering Crabapple (Malus sp.)

 

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The leaves are 1 to 2 inches long and are green to reddish green in color.  Fall color can be nice shades of yellow and orange, but it depends on the cultivar.  There are currently over 700 named cultivars and varieties worldwide.  Some are propagated for their flowering, fruiting or fall color, but many are chosen for their disease resistance.

The fruits usually offer better color than the leaves, coming in various hues of yellow, red and orange.  They come as small as 3/8 inches in diameter and as large as 2 inches in diameter.  The crabapples develop in the summer and some persist into winter or until the birds eat them.  They have little crop value to humans, but some can be used to make jellies.

While versatile and attractive, Crabapples can also be high maintenance.  There are several insect problems that can be an issue, but rust, scab and fire blight diseases are usually the more prevalent issues to deal with.  These diseases can be managed with good sanitation, proper spacing, and pruning, as well as fungicide treatments in the early spring.

 

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