Crab apples - a better alternative?

Discussion in 'Vancouver Cherry Blog' started by Bob Loveless, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. Bob Loveless

    Bob Loveless Active Member

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    Re: Scouts Comments

    [edited by wcutler 2010feb10: this was originally posted in the Scouts Comments thread. I copied it here because it led to the rest of the discussion, but the original poster here was not the one suggesting anything about crab apples.]
    It is always nice to see that the city continues to add the 36,000 cherry trees already lining the streets of Vancouver. Last week (on March 21st) while walking along 57th Avenue just west of Adera I came across a relatively new planting with the label "Akebono Cherry 2008".

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    On the other hand...

    "Prunus spp. ---Flowering Cherries and Plums
    ****Boringly overplanted; too much bacterial canker, brown rot, delayed graft-incompatibility, and cherry bark tortrix. The worst culprit is the delayed graft incompatibility of the flowering cherries. This happens when Japanese cultivars are grafted on European rootstocks --a nearly universal practice these days. It guarantees a short life. Own-root cherries, or Japanese clones on Japanese rootstocks, will live far longer and grow far larger. Purpleleaf Plums are more planted here than anywherre else, and we simply do not need more gloom all summer, what with a goodly percent of our population dressing in black already, and a plethora of purple maples, beeches, smoke trees and whatnot."

    http://www.arthurleej.com/a-overplanted.html

    While some nice displays are being shown on these pages and some of the trees look pretty big signs of the issues mentioned above are also visible. It may be time to start shifting to ornamental crabapples and other substitutes.

    "Malus 'Adirondack'/'Prairifire'/'Professor Sprenger'/'Red Jewel' ---Crabapple
    ****Small colorful trees with pretty flowers and fruits; they are relatively disease-free. These four are but a few of the worthwhile ones. Good substitutes for problem-prone flowering cherries."

    http://www.arthurleej.com/a-Trees of merit.html
     
  3. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Re: Scouts Comments

    We've got tons of crabapples in the West End. They have their nice bright green leaves already and they really do look cheery (not cherry, though some scouts will probably think so) when they have their white blossoms and red buds.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Re: Scouts Comments

    Next you can have a Crabapple Festival. Hmn, doesn't quite have the same ring...
     
  5. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Active Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

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    Re: Scouts Comments

    (Ron, Technically, neither of us is a Vancouver Cherry Blossom Scout, so I wonder if we should be having this discussion here.)

    It's tough to compete with drier climate areas when it comes to crab apples. I like disease resistant crabs well enough; in fact we need more, but lovely as many of them are, there isn't one that holds a candle to a healthy, well-grown cherry. Different strokes for different folks.

    I can't wait to get 50 cherry cultivars on their own roots, in the sun, away from drips, in well-drained, fertile soil, with access to summer irrigation. Allow me to spray with copper occasionally, but most of all, let me prosecute anyone who prunes one.
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Re: Scouts Comments

    Tea crabapple (Malus hupehensis) has much of the prettiness in flower of a cherry.
     

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