Sargent Crabapple Tree
The Sargent crabapple tree, with its pink buds, white flowers, and red fruits, is the perfect tree for landscaping in confined spaces since they stay small in size (6-10 feet and spread to 6-12 feet). For example, you can plant them as privacy screens and underneath power lines or use them for bonsai. Moreover, during the month of May, you will see dazzling white flowers in clusters. Additionally, it’s pea-sized fruit is a favorite for wildlife. In 1892, Charles Sprague Sargent, the founding director of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, brought the seeds with him from Japan.
- Uses: While Sargent crabapples can be edible, people love to use them for landscaping because of their beautiful white flowers and small size. Additionally, these trees are a good source of food, nesting, and cover for wildlife. If you would also like to use the crabapples, you can make jellies, jams and preserves since the apple itself is very bitter. For landscaping, you can put them under utility lines since they won’t grow and interfere with them and also for bonsai.
- Size/shape: These trees grow to a height of 6–10′ and a spread of 6–12′ at maturity. Additionally, it has a spreading crown and zigzagging branches which make the tree wider than it is tall.
- Color: These crabapples produce very small apples that become bright red. In fact they will stay on the tree even into winter. During the spring, these trees produce white flowers which start out as deep pink buds. These small flowers that are one inch wide grow in clusters like a bouquet.
- Hardiness Zones: 4 – 8
- Diseases and Pests
- For aphids, scale or mites use horticultural oil or insecticidal soap. Then for webworms and tent caterpillars, use Bacillus thuringiensis and remove the nests.
- Bloom Period: Blooms snow white flowers in May-June.
- Pollination: The Sargent crabapple tree is self-fertile so it doesn’t need another tree for cross-pollination. Consequently, it relies on bees to transfer pollen between flowers on the same tree. Moreover it can pollinate other apple trees that bloom during the same time and have the same flowering color.
- Cultivation: Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree, meaning it should get at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day. You can prune these trees after the flowers fade. However you do not need to thin the canopy. Additionally you can grow as a multi-stemmed or single branch and it grows about 12″ per year.
- Soil Preference: While this tree prefers moist, well-drained soil it can also tolerate dry conditions and soils that are alkaline to acidic.
- Wildlife Value: The dense foliage of this tree provides shelter for wildlife while the fruit provide sustenance. Since the fruits are pea-sized, birds love to eat them, especially cedar waxwings, robins, grosbeaks, and mockingbirds. Other animals that love the fruits include red-necked pheasant, cottontail rabbit, red fox, and black bear.
Check out our guides page for information on how to take care of trees.
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