- Prairifire Crabapple
- Prairie Fire Crabapple Tree Resists Apple Scab
- Prairie Fire Crabapple Tree Abloom in Spring, Berried in Fall
- How To Grow Prairie Fire Crabapple Trees
- Reasons This Tree Is A Good Choice
- Malus x ‘Prariefire’ ‘Prariefire’ Crabapple1
- General Information
- Use and Management
- Prairiefire Crabapple
- Other crabapple tree options.
- Prairifire Crabapple Information : Learn About Growing Prairifire Trees
- What is Prairifire Tree?
- How to Grow Prairifire Crabapples
- Prairifire Crabapple Care
Prairifire Crabapple (Malus ‘Prairifire’) is a gorgeous, pink flowering Crabapple tree with truly outstanding ornamental features. This improved variety was a breakthrough Crabapple and delivers many positive attributes for today’s smaller lots.
Modern landscapes need to look good all year long. When young, upright branches bring a sprightly energy to your Spring Garden. As the tree matures, Prairifire Crabapple tree develops into a beautiful rounded outline with an attractive, symmetrical appeal.
With lovely, glossy, dark red bark, the evenly distributed branches look beautiful smothered in vibrant, clear pink flowers to herald the start of the growing season. Prairifire Crabapple flowers appear on bare branches. Pretty red buds open to a bright rich pink five petaled flowers, which are borne in clusters on bare branches. Deep new foliage emerges close behind.
The foliage is slightly smaller than most all other Crabapple cultivars and emerge deep purple. As they develop and expand, a deep dark green overcast allows the purple haze beneath to show through. You’ll love this pretty effect.
It looks great in fall, when the Prairifire leaves close out the season with an exquisite orange tint. The glowing fall color is very showy.
Each reddish branch is liberally ornamented with deep, glossy cherry-shaped fruit that hang like ornaments. Prairifire’s decorative fruit display is a showstopper in late summer, fall, all through the winter and into spring—right up until the migrating birds take them off the plant.
Young branches and even some younger bark exhibits plenty of deep dark red color. Fresh bark on younger branches have many prominent lenticels, which add a charming visual texture. You’ll love the look of these dramatic, red barked branches against white snow in winter.
Prairifire is a perfect specimen plant. Place it front and center in your landscape design. You’ll adore this showy plant, with it’s amazing spring flowers, red young leaves and bark, and pretty fruit that remains showy for over half the year.
Order Prairifire from the expert growers at Nature Hills today!
How to Use Prairifire Crabapple in the Landscape
Prairifire Crabapple makes an excellent specimen plant. Use it at the corner of your house to anchor a foundation planting.
Line your driveway with a row of them as a beautiful flowering backdrop. Won’t your guests love coming over to your pretty house?
They’ll create a perfect focal point in a backyard Garden Room or near the patio. Get ready to add a big boost of multi-seasonal interest to your landscape with one tree, or many.
People are using Crabapples in odd numbered groups to great effect, even in a smaller yard. Try 3 or 5 Crabapples in a loose triangle or zig-zagging planting.
Can’t choose your favorite Crabapple color? Try a grouping of three different spring colors. You can use 2 Prairifire and a single white or light pink flowering Crab, as well.
Or, stay disciplined and use 3 Prairifire together. You’ll love that sleek, modern look of a mass planting of this incredible selection.
Add a row on the sunny side of an evergreen windbreak or shelterbelt. The rich pink flowers will pop against that evergreen backdrop.
Use several of these lovely Crabapple trees to screen out ugly views or messy garages, too. they will make a pretty transition tree near a side yard or entrance gate.
Be sure to add exterior lighting near the tree, or group of trees. Point the light upward into the canopy to add a lot of nighttime excitement for you and your guests. Don’t miss a second of the spring flower power!
#ProPlantTips for Care
Prairifire Crabapples are easy to grow in well drained soils. They’ll tolerate clay soil, as long as the puddles drain quickly after a rain. If poor drainage is a problem, create a raised berm or mound 18 – 24” above your native soil. Plant directly in that mound.
When planting, make sure the trunk flare is visible just above the roots when planting. Crabapples hate poorly drained soils so be sure you don’t plant too deeply.
It’s important to provide a moderate amount of regular water to establish your plant. While Crabapples can tolerate short periods of drought, plan to give supplemental water to keep your plant stress free, especially during long dry spells.
Prairifire is best pruned while its dormant in winter. Give your plant plenty of room to spread out to its mature size and height. You won’t want to have to prune for size control and risk losing the sophisticated branch structure of properly sited trees.
When the plant is young, be sure to watch for crossing branches and don’t be afraid to thin the crown lightly to keep the plant open and uniform. Remove smaller branches all the way back to another, larger branch. That way, the overall form remains more natural looking.
People adore their Prairifire Crabapple trees for their amazing good looks and easy, breezy care requirements. It’s a trustworthy superstar that performs a hit in every season. Order today!
Prairie Fire Crabapple Tree Resists Apple Scab
Prairie Fire Crabapple Tree Abloom in Spring, Berried in Fall
Crabapple trees are hardy, have dependable and beautiful spring bloom, and autumn fruits that persist into winter.Â Prairie Fire Crabapple tree is one of the best of them. Besides the beautiful flowers and dusky foliage,Â Malus x Prairie Fire is one of the best scab resistant cultivars, which makes it a top landscape choice.
Three Reasons To Plant Crabapples
- Their blooms nourish bees, and their fruits feed birds.
- They are a size that is integrated easily into most landscapes
- BothÂ flower and foliage color areÂ attractive features.
Is it any wonder that these are desirable trees for your home landscape?
Prairie Fire Crabapple Tree – Established Roots – Flowering – 2 Gallon Potted by Grower’s Solution
I have five of them in my yard at this time. After researching, I chose the “Prairie Fire” crabapple tree variety to offset the one great fault of crabapple trees in my area: apple scab. This fungal problem won’t kill the trees, but causes them to lose their leaves prematurely. You can see why a scab resistant variety would be an important consideration.
Steps to Ornamental tree success: how to select a tree; how to dig the right hole for it; how to plant a tree
Prairie Fire has proven to be resistant to apple scab in all but the worst years. In those years, the Prairie Fire crabapple tree still puts up a good fight to retain its leaves and its beauty.
After a number of years of growing it, I have to say thisÂ is one of the better ornamental tree choices I have made in the garden.
Do you love deep foliage in maroon and burgundy tints? I am not overly fond of purple-leaved trees usually -although I seem to just love the ones that are in my small chosen circle of cultivars. This tree, however, has softer tints that gives it an interesting contrast of color without the overbearing heaviness of purple leaf like those of a maple (‘Crimson King’ comes to mind).
For many reasons this crabapple is one of the exceptional plants with purple foliage which has been a real asset in the landscape; and the pink spring bloom has been spectacular every year.
‘Prairie Fire’ also keeps a compact, slightly upward growing shape, staying smaller than the ‘Snowdrift’ variety I grow.
How To Grow Prairie Fire Crabapple Trees
Prairie Fire Crabapple Tree
How It Looks
The Prairie Fire variety has dusky purple-tinged foliage, in summer and small fruit of a maroon colo.
It is the deep burgundy-red leaves and bright pink bloom of spring that is the glorious attraction of this tree.
Growing to about 15 to 25 feet tall and 10 to 20 feet wide with a rounded upright form.Â It’s shape is something between rounded and vase-shaped.
All the crabapples are fairly undemanding trees, they like normal soil conditions and normal amounts of moisture compared with most trees.
- Hardy in zones 4-7.
- Growing well on clay soil, they appreciate the finer fare of loam, but don’t demand it, they do need decent drainage.
- Give a full sun exposure.
- Good air circulation further restrains apple scab from developing.
- This tree is naturally resistant to apple scab disease
How to Plant a Crabapple Tree
Use the usual method of planting the young trees. Tree flare at soil level, hole 2-3 times wider than rootball, adding some amendment to backfill. Make sure the soil is firmed and well watered in.
Where to Plant
Position the tree to best effect in your garden and dig the hole the right way. Grown as a small grove, a line, or as specimens.
Pink and Blue in April
In the Garden
This tree can have center stage in any plan that uses purple foliage, because of the maroon tinged foliage and pink bloom.
Accompanied by moss phlox in shades of pink, pink and white tulips, Virginia bluebells, it will create a wonderful Spring picture.
“Morning Light” Miscanthus grasses in clumps nearby, makes a gorgeous complement with Japanese Barberry ‘Rose Glow’ (Berberis thunbergii).
If you prefer eye-catching contrasts, use “Goldsturm” rudbeckia with its golden, black-centered daisies later in the season which would be striking with the leaves and small red fruits of the Crabapple.
Reasons This Tree Is A Good Choice
- This crabapple variety is very disease resistant- especially to scab.
- It is a very hardy and showy ornamental tree
- A beautiful specimen tree
- Good for feeding wildlife
- Fruits provide winter interest (until the birds eat them!)
- The dusky purple foliage and pink flowers are striking
Â “Prairie Fire” crabapple tree was voted Iowa’s Tree of the Year in 1996 for good reason.Â It will perform well for the Midwestern states.
Protect from Deer and Rabbits
I do have one sad story about the first Prairie Fire tree I planted in my garden.
A couple of years ago we had an extreme winter with an unusual amount of snow cover. Rodents (rabbits I believe) took advantage of the sheltered area around the trunk and completely girdled the tree.
It took a season for me to discover what caused my tree to decline. Thus, it was decided to cut it down, since a girdled trunk cannot recover. It should be noted that I have a low growing Taxus there that may have also proved inviting cover for winter lunching.
Thankfully, I have three other Prairiefire trees in that part of the property.
It may be a good idea to wrap the trunk of the tree with tree wrap or hardware cloth, if you have trouble with browsing animals such as deer or rabbits.
Pictures and Reports From Ilona’s Garden Journal
Because it is one of my favorite trees, I have written posts, with my photos, about it.
Crabapple – Prairiefire
from: Nature Hills Nursery, Inc.
Malus x ‘Prariefire’ ‘Prariefire’ Crabapple1
Edward F. Gilman2
Crabapples are best grown in a sunny location with good air circulation and have no particular soil preferences, except soil should be well-drained. Root-pruned trees transplant most easily. Tree size, flower color, fruit color, and growth and branching habit vary considerably with the cultivar grown but many grow about 20 feet tall and wide. A few crabapples have good fall color and double-flowered types hold blossoms longer than single-flowered cultivars. Some crabapples are alternate bearers, blooming heavily only every other year. Crabapples are grown for their showy flowers and attractive, brightly colored fruit.
Scientific name: Malus x ‘Prariefire’ Pronunciation: MAY-luss Common name(s): ‘Prairiefire’ crabapple Family: Rosaceae Plant type: tree USDA hardiness zones: 4 through 8A (Fig. 1) Planting month for zone 7: year round Planting month for zone 8: year round Origin: not native to North America Uses: medium-sized parking lot islands (100-200 square feet in size); large parking lot islands (> 200 square feet in size); narrow tree lawns (3-4 feet wide); medium-sized tree lawns (4- 6 feet wide); wide tree lawns (>6 feet wide); residential street tree; specimen; espalier; trained as a standard; recommended for buffer strips around parking lots or for median strip plantings in the highway; bonsai Availability: generally available in many areas within its hardiness range Figure 1.
Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Height: 15 to 20 feet Spread: 15 to 20 feet Plant habit: round Plant density: dense Growth rate: moderate Texture: medium
Leaf arrangement: alternate Leaf type: simple Leaf margin: serrate Leaf shape: elliptic (oval) Leaf venation: brachidodrome Leaf type and persistence: deciduous Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches Leaf color: green Fall color: copper Fall characteristic: showy
Flower color: pink Flower characteristic: showy
Fruit shape: round Fruit length: less than .5 inch Fruit cover: fleshy Fruit color: red Fruit characteristic: attracts birds; showy; persists on the plant
Trunk and Branches
Trunk/bark/branches: typically multi-trunked or clumping stems; not particularly showy; no thorns Current year stem/twig color: brown Current year stem/twig thickness: medium
Light requirement: plant grows in full sun Soil tolerances: clay; acidic; well-drained; sand; loam; alkaline; occasionally wet Drought tolerance: unknown Soil salt tolerances: moderate Plant spacing: not applicable
Roots: usually not a problem Winter interest: plant has winter interest due to unusual form, nice persistent fruits, showy winter trunk, or winter flowers Outstanding plant: not particularly outstanding Invasive potential: not known to be invasive Pest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pests
Use and Management
Plants are used for specimens, patios (small-fruiting types), and along streets to create a warm glow of color each spring. Most are attractive during the summer, bearing glossy green foliage. Their small stature makes them popular around overhead power lines, and a row of crabapples along each side of the street or median strip can “make” a neighborhood. Select plants which have been grafted onto EMLA 106 or 111 rootstock to reduce root suckering.
Crabapple is well-adapted to compacted urban soil, tolerates drought and poor drainage well, and is somewhat tolerate of salt spray. It is well-adapted to all areas within its hardiness zone range, including Texas and Oklahoma. Very adaptable tree. Do not over-fertilize, since this could increase the incidence of disease. Select only from disease-resistant cultivars. Crabapples grow well in the Texas panhandle but are not extremely drought tolerant and are not well suited for high-pH soil.
Large-fruited types can create a maintenance problem, since rotting fruits attract insects, rodents, and are quite messy. Some crabapples sprout vigorously from the roots, and these will require regular pruning to maintain an attractive tree. Trees used as street trees will require regular pruning early in their life to train lower branches for pedestrian and vehicle clearance.
There are hundreds of crabapple cultivars with single or double, red, pink, or white flowers, and varying fruit size. Many are cultivars of Malus baccata and Malus floribunda. Since disease resistance can vary depending on where a particular cultivar is grown, be sure to choose a cultivar that has been shown to be resistant to disease in your area. Your urban forestry program could suffer if you plant the wrong cultivar but it could blossom if the correct ones are installed.
Malus adapted for street tree and urban use include ‘Adams’, ‘Bob White’, ‘David’, ‘Donald Wyman’, ‘Profusion’, ‘Red Splendor’ and Malus floribunda. Be sure to specify tree form plants for street tree use, since branching may be too low on trees grown for specimen use.
White-flowered cultivars include ‘Baccata Columnaris’—narrow crown, white flowers, red or yellow fruit; ‘Baccata Gracilis’—slow-growing, shrub-like, white flowers, fruit small and dark red fruit, annual bearer; ‘Baccata Jackii’—upright form, white flowers, bright red fruit, annual bearer, also good to excellent disease resistance; ‘Callaway’—pink buds, white flowers, red fruit; ‘David’—pink buds open to white flowers, scarlet fruit, good to excellent disease resistance; ‘Dolgo’—pink buds, white flowers, large red fruits; ‘Donald Wyman’—disease-resistant but susceptible to fire blight, glossy red showy fruit; ‘Ellwangeriana’—red fruit, disease-resistant; ‘Floribunda’—pink to red bud opens to single white flower, yellow or red fruit, commonly available; ‘Gloriosa’—pink bud opens to white flower, red, large fruit; ‘Golden Hornet’—upright arching habit, white flower, yellow fruit; ‘Gorgeous’—pink bud opens to large, white flower, red to orange fruit; ‘Harvest Gold’—white flowers followed by yellow fruits; ‘Hupehensis’—tea crabapple – pink buds open to white flowers, greenish fruit; ‘Katherine’—double flowers opening pink, fading to white, fruit yellow and red; ‘Mary Potter’—pink buds open to single white flowers, red and fairly large fruit, susceptible to scab and powdery mildew; ‘Red Jade’—weeping habit, white flowers, red fruit persisting after leaves drop; ‘Sargenti’—dwarf, pink bud opens to white flowers, small dark red fruit; ‘Snowdrift’—white flowers, orange red fruit; ‘Tanner’—white flowers, red fruits, susceptible to diseases; `Tschonoski’—white flowers, vigorous growth, good bronze red fall color, fruit brownish; ‘White Angel’—white flowers, glossy red fruit persisting into winter; ‘White Candle’—pink buds open to white flowers, red fruit, upright growth habit; ‘Zumi Calocarpa’—white flowers, bright red persistent fruit.
Pink-flowered cultivars include ‘Arnoldiana’—red buds, pale pink to white flowers, red and yellow fruits, susceptible to diseases; ‘Barbara Ann’—double pink flowers; ‘Beverly’ — pink flowers, small, bright red fruit, upright open habit; ‘Brandywine’—double, pink flowers, foliage tinged reddish; ‘Candied Apple’—red buds and pink flowers, persistent bright red fruits; ‘Coralburst’—pink flowers, a dwarf about eight feet tall; ‘Dorothea’—red buds, pink flowers, yellow fruits, susceptible to scab; ‘Hopa’—pink flowers, red and yellow fruit, extremely susceptible to scab; ‘Margaret’—disease-resistant; ‘Mount Arbor Special’—disease-resistant, red fruit; ‘Oekonomierath Echtermayer’—somewhat weeping habit, red buds, pink flowers, red fruits; ‘Pink Perfection’—pink flowers, susceptible to scab; ‘Prairie Rose’—double pink flowers, no fruit; ‘Radiant’—red buds, pink flowers, persistent red fruits,susceptible to scab; ‘Van Eseltine’—double pink flowers, columnar; ‘Velvet Pillar’ — upright form, pink flowers, red fruit and purple foliage; ‘Weeping Candied Apple’—pink flowers and red fruit on horizontal to pendulous branches.
Cultivars with red flowers include ‘American Beauty’—double, red flowers, susceptible to scab; ‘Centurion’—a columnar growth habit, red flowers followed by bright red, persistent fruits; ‘Indian Magic’—red flowers, maroon fall color, small red fruit, persistent; ‘Purpurea Lemoinei’—dark rose-colored flowers, alternate bearing; ‘Profusion’—red flowers and fruit; ‘Red Baron’—red flowers, susceptible to scab; ‘Red Silver’—red flowers, red fruit, susceptible to scab; ‘Red Splendor’—red buds, red to pink flowers, red fruit, susceptible to scab; ‘Royal Ruby’—double red flowers, sparse red fruit,susceptible to scab; ‘Royalty’—red flowers, red fruits, young foliage purple, susceptible to scab; ‘Selkirk’ — red flowers, red fruits, susceptible to diseases; ‘Sparkler’ — red flowers, red fruits; ‘Tomiko’—disease-resistant, reddish-purple blooms; ‘Wisley’—red flowers.
One of the best crabapples for the south is Malus x Callaway.
Disease-resistant cultivars include ‘David’, ‘Dolga’, ‘Donald Wyman’, ‘Ellwangeriana’, ‘Inglis’, ‘Jackii’, ‘Jewelberry’, ‘Margaret’, ‘Mary Potter’, and ‘Mount Arbor Special’, ‘Prairiefire’, ‘Professor Sprenger’, ‘Tomiko’. Contact the Ornamental Crabapple Society, Morton Arboretum, Lisle, Illinois 60532, for more information on crabapples.
Pests and Management
Aphids infest branch tips and suck plant juices. They are quite common. They can deform newly emerging foliage and secret honeydew, creating a sticky mess beneath the tree, but they will not kill the tree.
Fall webworm makes nests on the branches and feeds on foliage inside the nest. Small nests can be pruned out or sprayed with Bacillus thuringiensis, Controlling severe infestations may require other chemicals.
Scales of various types are controlled with horticultural oil.
Borers can be a problem on stressed trees.
Mites are too small to be seen easily, so they can cause much foliage discoloration before being detected. Mites can be controlled to a degree with horticultural oil, but other chemicals are often required by the time mites are detected. The mite infestation can also be severe by the time foliage chlorosis or bronzing is evident.
Eastern tent caterpillar builds tents or nests in trees in early summer or late spring. Feeding occurs on foliage outside the nest. Defoliation can be extensive if infestation is severe, and repeated defoliations for several years can weaken trees. Small nests can be removed by pruning them from the tree. Spray with Bacillus thuringiensis or other approved chemical. Do not burn nests while they are still in the tree.
Many selections are fairly susceptible to disease. Select from the disease-resistant ones.
Scab infection takes place early in the season, and dark, olive green spots appear on the leaves. In late summer the infected leaves fall off when they turn yellow. Infected fruits have black, slightly raised spots. Use resistant varieties to help avoid this severe problem.
Fire-blight-susceptible trees have blighted branch tips, particularly when the tree is growing rapidly. Leaves on infected branch tips turn brown or black, droop, and hang on the branches. The leaves look scorched as by a fire. The trunk and main branches become infected when the bacteria are washed down the branches. Cankers form and are separated from adjacent healthy bark by a crack. The infected bark may be shredded. Use resistant cultivars when available, since severe infections on susceptible trees can kill the tree.
Powdery mildew coats leaves with white fungal growth resembling powder.
Cedar apple rust causes brown to rusty-orange spots on the leaves. Badly spotted leaves fall prematurely, and defoliation can be heavy. Red cedars (Juniperus virginiana) are the alternate host.
Crabapples are subject to several canker diseases. Prune out infected branches, avoid unnecessary wounding, and keep trees healthy.
This document is FPS-394, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.
Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.
The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county’s UF/IFAS Extension office.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.
Prairiefire crabapple trees produce bright neon pink colored blooms in the spring. The blooms on this crabapple tree last for an extended period. After the blooms fade, purplish colored leaves emerge. As the leaves grow, they transition to a green color with a reddish tint. This color remains all the way through the growing season until the fall when the leaves turn orange. Prairiefire crabapple trees also produce small fruits. The fruits are dark red and have a shiny finish on them. The fruit looks like miniature cherries when they are fully developed. The fruit remains on the tree all winter long adding color and interest. This variety of crabapple tree is disease resistant and has no major problems. Prairiefire crabapple trees can be planted in a variety of soil types. This tree works well as a specimen tree or can add interest to your property when planted in groupings.
Plant Type- Ornamental Tree
Bloom Time- Spring
Flower Color- Neon Pink
Foliage Color- Green-Red Summer and Orange Fall
Growth Habit- Round Canopy
Growth Rate- Medium
Height- 15-20 feet tall
Spread- 15-20 feet wide
Light- Full Sun
Details- This tree is disease resistant and is extremely hardy.
Pruning- Late winter is the best time to prune this tree. Prune as needed to remove dead or damaged branches.
Other crabapple tree options.
- April Showers™ Weeping Crabapple
- Brandywine® Crabapple
- Cardinal Flowering Crabapple
- Centurion® Crabapple
- Cinderella® Dwarf Crabapple
- Coralburst® Flowering Crabapple
- Golden Raindrops® Crabapple
- Indian Magic Flowering Crabapple
- Indian Summer Crabapple
- Louisa Weeping Crabapple
- Madonna® Crabapple
- Prairifire Crabapple
- Profusion Crabapple
- Redbud Crabapple
- Red Jewel Crabapple
- Robinson Crabapple
- Rosalie Columnar Crabapple
- Rosy Crabapple Kiwi
- Royal Raindrops® Flowering Crabapple
- Sargent Crabapple
- Spring Snow Crabapple
- Snowdrift Flowering Crabapple
- Sugar Tyme® Crabapple
- Tina Sargent Crabapple
- Velvet Pillar™ Crabapple
- Weeping Madonna® Crabapple
Prairifire Crabapple Information : Learn About Growing Prairifire Trees
Malus is a genus of around 35 species native to Eurasia and North America. Prairifire is a small member of the genus that produces ornamental leaves, flowers and fruit. What is a Prairifire tree? It is a flowering crabapple with high disease resistance, ease of care and several seasons of beauty. The tree is outstanding as an ornamental specimen in the landscape and the fruits of the tree are important food for wild animals and birds.
What is Prairifire Tree?
In Latin, Malus means apple. The many varieties of these pomes stem from their ability to cross pollinate and hybridized. Prairifire tree is a member of these fruiting trees that produce copious blooms and edible fruit. Try growing Prairifire trees en masse or as standalone plants with several seasons of beauty and unmatched tolerance to numerous site conditions.
Prairifire can grow 20 feet (6 m.) tall with a spread of 15 feet (5 m.). It has a nicely compact form, gently rounded with light gray, scaly bark. The flowers are very fragrant, deeply pink and considered showy when they appear
in spring. Bees and butterflies find them very attractive.
The small fruits are ornamental and attractive to birds and wild animals. Each is about ½-inch (1.27 cm.) long, purplish red and glossy. The crabapples are mature by fall and persist well into winter, or until animals finish raiding the tree. Prairifire crabapple information identifies the fruit as a pome. Leaves are oval and deeply green with reddish veins and petioles but emerge with a purple tinge when young. Fall colors range from red to orange.
How to Grow Prairifire Crabapples
Growing Prairifire trees is easy. It is hardy into United States Department of Agriculture zones 3 to 8 and, once established, can tolerate a range of conditions.
Prairifire crabapple has a medium growth rate and can survive for 50 to 150 years. It prefers full sun, in a location where it receives at least 6 hours of light per day. There are a broad range of soils in which the tree thrives. Its only Achilles heel is extreme drought.
Prepare the planting location by loosening the soil to twice the depth of the root ball and twice as wide. Spread the roots broadly in the hole and fill in carefully around them. Water the plant in well. Young plants may need staking initially to keep them growing vertically.
This is a self-fertile plant which relies upon bees to pollinate the flowers. Encourage bees in the garden to increase yields of the beautiful, aromatic blooms and bright fruits.
Prairifire Crabapple Care
When young, Prairifire crabapple care should include regular watering, but once established the plant can tolerate brief periods of dryness.
It is prone to several fungal diseases, among them include rust, scab, fire blight, powdery mildew and a few leaf spot diseases.
Japanese beetles are a pest of concern. Some insects cause minor damage. Watch for caterpillars, aphids, scale and certain borers.
Fertilize the tree in very early spring and prune in winter to maintain a strong scaffold and remove diseased or broken plant material.