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Prairifire Crabapple

Malus x ‘Prairifire’

Introduction

Hi guys! If you are new here you probably do not know me. Let me introduce myself! My name is Winston and I joined the Bret-Mar Family a few years ago when my mom, Ashley adopted me. I am now the resident pup horticulturist. I write articles about my favorite plants so our awesome customers can find inspiration! Today I want to tell you about an ornamental tree that we are very fond of here at Bret-Mar. It is called Prairie Fire Crabapple and it is a fantastic specimen (just like me!) for your garden!

Prairie Fire Crabapple in spring

Prairifire Crab Traits

This crab has several fabulous traits and is great for tight spaces. First, it is a small ornamental tree which is beneficial to most residential landscapes where space is limited. Second, it blooms hot pink in the spring and is one of the first plants to bring life back to the garden each year. Finally, my favorite aspect of this plant is the persistent fruit in the fall and winter. The fruit resembles a small berry that attracts birds. This makes for great entertainment as I can bark at and chase all the birds that come into my yard! When I say a fruit is persistent, I mean that any fruit left hanging on the tree will dry up and remain on the tree. This means there is no mess for my mom and dad to clean up.

Listed below are characteristics of the Prairie Fire crabapple tree:

  • Height: 15′-20′ Tall
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Flower Color: Hot Pink
  • Mature Leaf Color: Dark Green
  • New Leaf Color: Burgundy
  • Fall Color: Bronze
  • Berry: Persistent and Red

I don’t think I could find another crabapple that I love more than this one. The flower color is just amazing. It flowers so profusely you would think it was a tropical tree! After flowering Prairie Fire crabapple foliage emerges and is burgundy and turns dark green for the remainder of the season.

Wildlife Attracted to Prairie Fire Crabapple

Prairie Fire Crabapples are a great plant to install if you wish to keep wildlife around all year. The berries are a lasting food source for hungry birds when there is not much else available. The berries pop against the blanket of white snow in the winter. If you are worried about these crab apples making a mess, I have great news for you! This tree has persistent berries, meaning they do not drop like other varieties. The berries shrivel up on the plant, do drop to the ground. However, by the time they fall to the ground they are so shriveled that they disappear! There is virtually no mess!

Check out this link to learn more about wildlife! 7 Plants to Attract Birds During Winter

Pest and Disease Problems

Now we should talk about pests and diseases. Just kidding! Prairie fire crabapple is one of the only crabs that hits excellent marks for being resistant to all crabapple diseases. Most notably this variety of crabapple is resistant to the common disease, apple scab. Apple scab is a fungus that infests the leaves, buds, and fruit. It is quite common in older varieties of crab. These older varieties affected with apple scab usually survive the fungus with minor evidence of infection. As a result of the fungus the tree will defoliate. Apple scab causes lesions on the leaf and can be unsightly. Treatments are available but newer varieties usually do not require it as they are resistant to the fungus. The Prairiefire Crab is one of the only crabapples to have these traits. It is truly an excellent tree!

To learn more about Apple Scab Click Here!

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