|Plants for Wildlife - Fruiting|
Crabapple (Malus spp.)
Size: 15' tall and 12' spread
Fruiting: late August
Birds: waxwings, robin, starling,
Ornamental crabapples (Malus spp.) make nice specimen trees, and produce beautiful flowers and fruits. Most are hardy to Zone 4, but disease resistance can be an issue. Crabapple tress vary in flowering and fruiting colors, and some are more beneficial to birds than other due to a variety of reasons. Although some trees have fruit that is eaten by birds, consideration should be given to the time of year when birds take the fruit, and whether the fruit stays on the tree or not. Crabapples should be planted in well-drained soil and full sun.
Indian Magic Crabapple (Malus Indian Magic) 15' tall/spread. Unlike a few of its infamous crabapple predecessors, Indian Magic truly has multi-season appeal. Rose-pink flowers in spring, handsome fall leaf color (reddish-orange), and a generous crop of small, bright red fruit that turn reddish-orange after the first few frosts of the season, make this tree a perennial favorite of visitors to the ISU collection. In addition, its low, spreading habit, gains it entry into landscapes with overhead power and communication lines. Birds will take the fruit of Indian Magic after they’ve softened in late fall or early winter.
Red Jewel Crabapple (Malus Red Jewel) 14-18' tall/9-12' spread. Red Jewel - Unlike many crabapples which have rounded or spreading growth habits, ‘Red Jewel´ is an upright, pyramidal-shaped tree, perfect for narrow boulevards or other tight spaces. White flowers cover the tree in spring and small bright, cherry red fruit are ornamentally effective from late summer to December. Fruit are quite persistent, often remaining on the tree until the following spring. The dark green foliage is disease free followed by a display of cherry red fruit which can hang on until March.
Sugar Tyme Crabapple (Malus Sugar Tyme) 14-18' tall/11-15' spread. Sugar Tyme - has white flowers in spring and bright red fruit that persist well into January. Unlike some crabapples that occasionally have off-years when fruit crops are light, ‘Sugar Tyme´ always produces a bumper crop of bright red fruit. Best grown in loamy, medium wet, well-drained, acidic soil in full sun, however, it adapts to a wide range of soils. Pale pink buds open to fragrant, single, white flowers in spring, then are followed by masses of small, glossy, red crabapples which mature in the fall and persist well into the winter. The fruits are attractive to birds. Slender, ovate, serrate, dark green leaves. Excellent disease resistance.
Sargent Crabapple (Malus sargentii) 6-8' tall/ 9-15' spread. Sargent only gets 6-8 feet tall. fruits last to early fall for birds. light pink buds open to fragrant pure white flowers in May. Best grown in loamy, medium wet, well-drained, acidic soil in full sun, however, it adapts to a wide range of soils. Although Sargent crabapple may technically be grown as a dwarf tree, it is for all practical purposes usually grown as a dense, spreading, shrub. As a shrub, it typically grows 6-8' tall with no central leader and spreads to 15' wide. Pink buds open to a profuse, but brief, spring bloom of fragrant, white flowers. Profuse bloom often occurs only in alternate years. Flowers are followed by small, red crabapples, which mature in the fall. Fruits are long-lasting and attractive to birds, however. Sargent generally has good disease resistance.
Prairiefire Crabapple (Malus Prairiefire) 15-20' tall/ spread. Prairiefire is best grown in loamy, medium wet, well-drained, acidic soil in full sun, though it adapts to a wide range of soils. This crabapple is a dense, rounded, deciduous tree which typically grows 15-20' tall with a similar spread. Pinkish-red buds open to slightly fragrant, deep pink-red flowers in spring. Flowers are followed by masses of small, purplish-red crabapples, which mature in the fall. The fruits are persistent and attractive to birds. Ovate leaves emerge purplish in spring, mature to dark green with reddish-tinged leaf veins and petioles in summer, and turn orangish in autumn. It reportedly has high disease resistance.
Red Splendor Crabapple (Malus Red Splendor) 20-25' tall/ spread. Red Splendor Crab has single, pink flowers and bright red, ½ inch persistent fruit. There is no litter problem as the small fruit never falls. The foliage is reddish-green and glossy. Developed in Minnesota, the pink flowers are accented with reddish-green glossy leaves and the splendid display of red fruit is either eaten by birds or persists into winter. Good resistance to disease.
Royalty Crabapple (Malus Royalty) 15-20' tall/ spread. Royalty Glossy deep burgundy leaves on this upright rounded tree. Deep red flowers in spring and ¾” dark red fruit. The flowers are purple-pink and the leaves are purple-red in spring, purple-green in summer and brilliant purple-bronze in fall. The medium-sized fruit are dark purple-red.
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|Birding by Boat|
|Some of the best birding in summer is by boat. Birds sing and are active along the banks even when summer doldrums have birders hanging up their binoculars.|