I Love Flowering Crabapples
When it comes to small flowering trees, is there anything better than the Crabapple (Malus sp.)? Of course not – I’m glad you agree. And my ‘Donald Wyman’ flowering crab is especially lovable this year. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this tree so full of blooms.
Crabapples are also excellent habitat plants. The flowers are popular with pollinators. Douglas Tallamy found in his research that when it comes to supporting insects, Crabapples ranked 6th among the woody genera he studied.
Birds feed on those insects, as well as on the fruit and buds. Orioles will eat nectar from the flowers.
One drawback of ‘Donald Wyman’, though, is that birds are not interested in its fruit. Generally, birds like Crabapples with smaller fruit. This is why I planted a second Crabapple, ‘Golden Raindrops’, in the back garden. ‘Golden Raindrops’ is one of the last Crabapples to bloom, so it has no flowers as yet.
But ‘Donald Wyman’ makes up for this defect with outstanding disease resistance, at least in my experience. We’ve had ours for over 10 years without ever spraying, and there has never been any sign of fungal or other diseases.
Another small tree that is flowering beautifully at the moment is our ‘Autumn Brilliance’ Serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora). Ours are multi-stem, so they look more like shrubs than trees.
Serviceberries are another genus of outstanding wildlife plants.
Our two Serviceberries are planted near the neighbor’s flowering Crabapple. As a reslut, we can enjoy the Serviceberries’ simple white flowers juxtaposed against the fluffy pink of the neighbor’s Malus, with both of them set off (this past weekend, at least) against a pure blue sky.
What flowering tree is making you happiest at the moment?