Here's a new tree I added to my landscape just three weeks ago. Can you tell what kind it is?
It's the Malus 'Prairifire' crabapple tree. This tree has been on my wish list for a while now, but I haven't had any luck finding it; however, I have to admit that I haven't been too active in my search for it either.
About 3 weeks ago I stopped by a local Food Lion grocery store to pick up a couple things and noticed on my way in that they had a few trees for sale sitting out front. I've noticed that most of the larger supermarkets put out a few trees this time of year, but their mostly the common predictable type trees, i.e. bradford pear. I had a little time so I decided to take a quick look - mostly just out of curiosity. Well, guess what? I'm glad I did stop to look because there it was! The prairefire crabapple tree. Of all places one could think of, I definitely wouldn't have guessed Food Lion. When I took the tag off and went inside to give it to the cashier to ring up she just looked at it as if she didn't know what to do - evidently they don't sell to0 many trees there. The price at $13.99 was very reasonable I thought for a 6' tree.
It wasn't blooming when I planted it, but the recent warm weather has woke it up.
The crabapple can hang with the best of them when it comes to spring blooms. They also look great in the fall and they provide fruit late in the season that attract and provide food for the birds. Crabs also come in a range of sizes that will fit well into almost any landscape.
For more information on crabapple trees check out this 2005 article by the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. They also rate the top 10 crabs. 'Prairifire' was rated at #8.