dwarf or weeping crabapple

lizzyvannMarch 5, 2006

Could someone please give me some suggestions for a dwarf or weeping crabapple? My soil is clay, the location is well-drained though. 6-8 hours sun. I was thinking "Red Jade" or "Tina". Does anybody have any experience with either or these, or other recommendations? Can I plant them alone, or do I need more than one for cross-pollination? I am particularly interested in providing fruit for the birds.

Thanks in advance, Lizzy

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I think that apples of any kind will produce more with another species of apple that flowers at the same time. I have not found crabapples to be a favorite of birds. I wonder if the fruits of some of the cultivars are too big? I have seen them around here with the fruit rotting off them in the spring as they sit untouched. It could also be the birds in this area, but I think I'd stick with a plain, old-fashioned crabapple if you are really stuck on planting a crabapple rather than a heavily-hybridized version with large fruitsif you are looking to plant to wildlife.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 7:24AM
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I have 'Tina'which makes a bush about 5' high and wide. The berries are about as big as a pea.
'Red Jade' is a much larger tree up to 15'. Its habit is weeping, they can be loaded with fruit in the fall. Fruit set will be better if there is another apple/crabapple nearby. Although crabapples may not be the preferred food of many birds, when times get lean, birds will eat them.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 1:01PM
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Thanks vonyon and sam for the replies! Not sure what I'm going to do now. I've got a ton of berrying bushes on the shopping list for this spring--viburnum, amelanchier, symphoricarpos, cornus, aronia, ilex--so I guess I can live without the crabapple. I had been reading a book that enthused that crabapples were really loved by the birds, so it's interesting to hear from others that they aren't exactly a bird's top choice. I also noticed someone in my neighbourhood has 2 crabapples and the fruit is either still hanging on it or laying underneath the tree. I'm curious to see if any birds come along this spring and pick them clean or if they will stay untouched. Tina and Red Jade both sound so beautiful, but since I'm leaning more towards planting natives I don't know if I will get one...Thanks again for the info! Lizzy

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 9:00AM
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chrsvic(z6 OH)

I don't think a bird habitat garden would be complete without a crabapple. Some varieties are very attractive to birds, while others, birds wouldn't touch the apples unless there was a truly Siberian winter. I vote for crabs like Tina that have smaller fruits the birds can handle.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2006 at 4:09PM
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Thanks for the response chrsvic. Have you grown Tina or can you recommend any which you definitely know the birds like?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2006 at 10:24PM
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chrsvic(z6 OH)

Hi Lizzy,

I've grown Sargent's crab, it flowers and fruits profusely every other year. Tina i think is a more compact cultivar of Sargent's and should behave similarly. I've watched robins eat the small red fruits.

I've also grown Snowdrift, which attracted a flock of cedar waxwings every fall, but it is a much larger and upright tree. Tina would be a great choice if your space is limited, but you probably only get a good crop of fruits every other year.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2006 at 8:31AM
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Hmmmm...you've got me rethinking the crabapple idea. :)
How big did your Snowdrift get?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2006 at 8:49PM
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chrsvic(z6 OH)

Hi Lizzy,

I moved a couple years ago from the house i had the Snowdrift, but im guessing it got to 15 feet tall or so. Maybe 8 - 10 ft wide. A flock of birds can clean out a tree pretty quickly, so i'd plant as much variety as space and budget allow.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 10:15AM
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terryr(z5a IL)

I've read that the cedar waxwings love the fruit of Prairie Fire Crabapple. I don't have one here, so this is just something I've read. I took my husband to an eye place this week and whatever their crabapples are, aren't being eaten. Same goes for the ones at my parents office buildings. I'm guessing the fruit is too big or not palatable.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 11:20AM
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I have been shopping for crabapple trees and have read, speaking of Siberia, that the birds are crazy for Siberian Crabapples.

I have no firsthand knowledge. Those trees get pretty big. What did you end up doing lizzyvann? I am curious to know since this post was from 7 years ago.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 6:58PM
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