Flowering Crab

Useful Information on the Flowering Crab

The flowering crab is a beautiful tree that will often be red or pink in color when it first blooms.  The colors tend to lighten the longer they are in bloom.  They are very popular in northern and Midwestern states because it gets so cold in these areas.  The flowering crab seems to bloom very well in the spring in these areas even though the winters are so very cold.  You do need to keep in mind, however, that they do attract certain types of insects and they do get diseases very easily.

If you are considering planting a flowering crab you are going to want to plant it in average soil and add a lot of fertilizer to it.  Once you do this, it is most likely not going to need much else in the way of maintenance the first year.  However, if you are noticing that it is not growing very well, and the leaves are small, you may want to add some extra fertilizer to it so that it will grow a little better.  If you do need to add any fertilizer to the plant, you are going to want to add two to three pounds of nitrogen fertilizer per 1,000 square feet.  You want to ensure that you are actually covering the root system of the tree.

It will not be necessary to really prune your flowering crab unless you notice problem areas.  If you find that little shoots are coming out of the tree and they are diseased or infected, you will want to cut them out.  Also, you may want to remove some interior branches from your tree so that it will get good air circulation through the tree.  Other than that, you will only need to prune the tree to give it the shape that you want.  Be sure that you are completing any pruning before June and that you are not doing this in July.  By July you are going to have buds forming for the next bloom and you do not want to ruin them.

If you notice that your flowering crab is growing well, you will not really need to add any extra water to it unless you are experiencing a drought.  If it is extremely dry, you will want to water it every two weeks or so.  You will need to give the tree two to six inches of water each time.  Your tree will not die if it does not have enough water but it may not bloom as well the following year.

The flowering crab is most often affected by four different diseases.  The first one is called apple scab.  This is a fungus that leaves black spots on the tree or the fruit of the tree.  You will be able to recognize this if your tree has it.  Fire blight is a complication that is going to turn your trees branches black.  This will eventually kill your tree if it is not taken care of.  Cedar-apple rust is the third problem and it is going to make the leaves of your tree look like they are rusty.  This can cause the leaves on your tree to die.  The fourth, and final, complication is a mildew that covers your tree and looks like power.  It is going to cover the majority of your tree.

You will really enjoy the beautiful blooms on your flowering crab.  If you plant one of these trees and you find that it is suffering from any of the diseases mentioned above you are going to want to talk to someone at a local nursery about how you can care for your tree and get rid of these problems.  It is best to address the problems when they begin so that your tree does not suffer.