Crabapple trees are beautiful to have in your collection. They will show their attributes year long and all four seasons. In Spring, the tree will be covered in flowers raning in color from white, red and pink depending on the specific species of flowering crabapple tree. In summer, foliage is a dark green. When falls come, the flowering crabapple will produce crabapple fruit. Fruit are usually red to deep red, but a few species have produce a more yellowish fruit. As fall comes to an end, the crabapple tree leaves will turn yellow and fall, but fruit can remain on branch and this is what makes it beautiful in winter. The contrast of a nude branch with fruits and white snow deserve a great picture. Many species and sub-species of crabapple tree are very cold hardy.
Some popular species of crabapple bonsai are:
Sargentís Crabapple tree
Malus Sargentii or sargentís crabapple is native to Japan. It is the smallest of crabapple species which makes it a good bonsai contender. It will produce half inch white flowers and deep red fruit not bigger then a common pea. The flowers are fragrant which adds to the already good list of qualities. This is an easy specie to cultivate and will adapt to most soil and growing conditions.
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Sargent crabapple bulk seeds
Japanese flowering crabapple tree
Malus floribunda is also native of Japan. The flowers are very fragrant and will be different colors ranging from pink to deep red. The fruits are also of various color such as yellow and red but are small enough to make small bonsai and keep things in proportions. Less cold hardy then other crabapple tree, the Japanese flowering crabapple is as beautiful as the other. This species is an hybrid between two common crabapple species native of east asia.
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Malus baccata is native of asia. It is the most cold hardy of crabapple tree tolerating temperature as cold as usda zone 2. The flowers are white and fragrant. The fruit are bright red. While this species is widely use as an ornamental tree it could still makes good bonsai. The fruit will stay on branch for a long period. The root system of this species is very hard and resistant to disease which makes it a good candidate for rootstock.
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Basic Crabapple Bonsai Care requirements tips
Light minimum requirements tips
Crabapple trees will require the most light they can get to thrive. It will also grow good in semi-shade. Some crabapple species have sensible leaves in summer and they most be protected against direct sun rays.
Watering basic needs tips
The crabapple tree will need a lot of water when producing fruits but the rest of time it will be good on a moderate watering.
However, you should not let the soil become dry as the roots needs to be moist always.
Feeding and Fertilizer requirements tips
To grow a full mature tree you will need to fertilize frequently and more before it produce its fruit. However, for bonsai growing, minimal fertilizing during summer is recommended to prevent the tree to grow out of proportion,
Crabapple Bonsai Growing Techniques and tips
Wiring can be performed in early spring on any crabapple as long as you protect the bark. Crabapple bonsai have been seen in many size and styles, however, it does not perform well as a cascade or semi-cascade bonsai. Smaller bonsai are best done with species with small flowers and fruit.
Common Crabapple Diseases and pests
The most common pest for crabapple are aphids which will suck juice of the tree from the branch tips. Aphids are unpleasant but are not lethal to the crabapple. Mites and scales could also attack the tree and should be treated with an horticultural oil.
Crabapple Propagation Techniques and tips
Crabapple seeds are easy and are produce in quantities on mature tree. Each fruit contains at least 6 seeds. Pulp around seeds should be wash in hot water and seeds should be allowed to dry in sunlight for 24 to 48 hours. Usually seeds are dormant and will need cold stratification for at least 60-90 days prior to germination. Seed size as well as fruit size depends and species of crabapple.
Crabapple cuttings are also a great way to reproduce your favourite species. Cutting from an older wood will produce a flowering tree in a short time compare to cuttings taken from a juvenile branch.
It is also possible to air layer or root layer a crabapple tree.