Tag Archives: crabapple

A garden update

Here’s what’s new out in the garden:

My young Malus (Crabapple) ‘Prairie Fire’, recently saved from an invasion of tent caterpillars, is in full bloom and I am loving it:

Not so long ago I complained about the lack of variegation on the Salix (Dappled Willow) ‘Hakuro Nishiki’. Not so much any more:


Newly in bloom is Geranium ‘Espresso’, but the foliage is the true winner here:

I have promised my daughter she will faint at the sight of the bloom of Allium ‘Globemaster’. Why I planted only one is still a mystery to me:

Here come the peonies and a potential showdown with the neighborhood deer:

I continue to love Juniper ‘Gold Cone’ more and more:

The heliotrope are planted and me likey:

And the pansies continue to thrive:

My precious lemon has turned into … well … a lemon … and soon we will all enjoy said lemon in some sort of celebratory ceremony, still to be determined:

Crabapple Prairifire

Multi-seasonal interest. It is what gardeners seek but often have difficulty locating.

Well I’ve got a tree for you today that offers not 2 … not 3 … but 4 seasons of interest (hell, if there is ever a 5th season invented it will offer interest then too). Throw in the fact that it draws wildlife, is disease resistant, works in most soils and is low maintenance and you’ve got yourself one mother of an awesome tree.

I’m talking about Crabapple Prairifire:

I’ve only had this deciduous tree for three years now and it has been stellar since day one. I can only imagine it will continue to please in the years to come as it develops further.

A few quick tidbits on Crabapple Prairifire :

  • Survives in zone 4-8
  • Prefers full sun
  • Mature size is approximately 15 x 15
  • Prefers average soil moisture and can handle wet soil (woo hoo!!)
  • Takes on a dense, rounded shape as it matures
  • The ‘Prairifire’ cultivar was discovered in 1982 at the University of Illinois

Here are some photos I’ve taken over the past year or so (zone 6B) along with some additional factoids:

Crabapple Prairifire begins leafing out in early to mid April and the foliage emerges in a deep red color:


Within a week or so after that, the blooms have emerged and usually last 2-3 weeks:







Once the blooms have faded and dropped, the Crabapple Prairifire foliage begins to change to green and the crabapples begin to develop:

The crabapple fruits are enjoyed by the birds and the birds like to chill amongst the dense foliage:


But back to the crabapples. They are my personal favorite aspect of this tree. They last from summer all the way into the fall and persist throughout the winter:

Crabapples in summer:
Crabapples in the Fall:


Crabapples in late Fall:


Crabapples in winter:


Crabapples during a late winter freeze:


I have yet to prune my Crabapple Prairifire since it is so young but may look to do so next winter.

I’ve been so happy with this tree to date that I am looking to add 2-3 more in the near future. I’ve even considered lining my driveway with them (got a few thousand dollars I can borrow?)

Seriously, 4-season interest is a rarity so how can you not jump all over these gems?


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