While visiting the Yakima Arboretum each year for my annual collection of osage oranges (read here for details) I always make sure I take the time to stroll through and appreciate their resident stand of Crabapple trees. The colors of their jewel-like fruits gleam against the blue, blue sky; a sure sign of fall for me. Here’s an excerpt of an article I wrote for the Washington Park Arboretum Bulletin about many beautiful attributes Crabapples (Malus) contribute to the landscape:
From dense, shrub-like specimens, to slender, vase-shaped small trees, to the spreading canopies of good-sized climbing trees, there are crabapples for any landscaping need. In addition to spring flowers and diversity of form, crabs offer colorful fall foliage and jewel-like fruit. Flowers, form, fall color and fruit! This woody ornamental is a boon for the city gardener who must judiciously juggle high expectations with limited planting space, overhead wires, pollution and less-than-ideal soil conditions. Add to this hit list of attributes the facts that crabapples are wildlife-friendly and provide valuable pollinator support – and you have today’s darling, an eco-green star.
To help you select the best crabapple for your garden you can find my entire article, Malus: a Four-Season Wonder For Pacific Northwest Gardens here.
Or, if your garden is chock-full like mine with hardly enough room to squeeze in the bulbs I plan to purchase this fall, make time to take a walk through your local arboretum, park or established neighborhood and take in the seasonal beauty of these marvelous trees and others in your area just peaking with their autumn show.
L.M. Montgomery – the Canadian author best known for her Anne of Green Gables series – poetically suggests that amethysts are the souls of good violets. Perhaps rubies are the heavenly reward of the lovely crabapple tree.