Sunday, September 15, 2013

Planting a Crabapple Tree. "Prairie Fire."


I saw this tree in the sale section at Home Depot.  Not wanting to do the work to plant another tree right now, but it's a good kind of fatigue.  Given that the tree fruited this year, maybe it will have viable spurs to bloom next Spring.   Plus, apples are pretty rugged so it has a good chance to survive.  So I bought this tree.


Crabapple "Prairie Fire" before unpotting.
 I'm not crazy about buying tall trees at the nursery.  I think small trees have a better chance to establish.  However, there's the issue of browsing deer.  So I selected the tallest specimen.  Around 8 feet or 9 feet tall.  A bit lanky.  It will fill in.


Unpotted, hole prepared, added "Plant Success" inoculant.
 I expected this to be a ball-and-burlap tree with compost added to the container, and it was.  Not excessive root growth.

Added some "Plant Success" mycorrhizal inoculant.   This soil has not had chemical treatment for 2 years.  I don't know about prior to that.  Reasonable to try to add back some beneficial microbes. 

The lower branches were sharply bend downwards.  I suspect trauma in shipping and handling.  I removed the worst. left the rest.  Expect to prune branch tips when leaves have fallen.
I researched this variety online.  It is multi - disease resistant.   It has pink flowers in the Spring.  If the flowering time is right, it can serve as a pollen source for other apples.  As a type of apple, it will add to the bee forage.

This variety has small fruits that birds eat during the winter.  Another plus.
Planted, mulched, minor pruning.

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