Delicate pink blossoms on our crabapple tree make me almost forget about the mess crabapples make in the fall when the overripe fruit cover the ground ready to be squished by little and big feet. Nevertheless, we adore our tree, which provides plenty of shade from the summer sung plus the week’s worth of flowers it produces each spring. It picks up my spirit. I love what the warm weather allows me to do outdoors in my very own yard.
A side note about crabapple trees: Last year, I decided I’d had it with the fruit and wondered if there was a way to keep the tree but prevent it from producing fruit. Of course there is. Something like this. So I bought a bottle. And then, if anyone remembers, just as the flowers were beginning to bloom, a freeze fell over the area killing all those buds,which subsequently dropped to the ground in the next few days. So, no fabulously flowering crabapple tree last year — and no squishy fruit either. I don’t know if I’ll attempt to defruit my tree this year. I don’t really understand how I could possibly spray each and every bud on the 20ish-foot-tall tree. And now that we have pea gravel below the tree, it’s easy enough to rake up the fruit.
Crabapple trees aren’t difficult to maintain. We did run into a whitish mold on some leaves a few years ago. Turned out to be a mix of Woolly Aphids, an insect that eats ornamental fruit, and that blasted Powdery Mildew, a fungus that loves killing the leaves of my squash, pumpkins and other vegetables. The plant doctor at a local nursery prescribed Bayer Tree & Shrub Protect & Feed, which you mix with water and pour it in a circle around the tree. It worked! You’re supposed to do this once a year.
Of course, I would have preferred for the former owners to have planted an apple tree with edible fruit. Or a plum tree. Or even peach (who knew peaches grew well here in Colorado?)
I haven’t tasted crabapples, but apparently some people do believe the fruit is edible. Really? If I don’t get around to killing the flowers this year, I just may try one of these this summer:
So … What grows well at your house?
Maybe someday soon I will document what plants really work well in our climate/neighborhood…