Top Questions About Crab Apple Trees

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Questions About Crab Apple Trees

Asked by
wendyann1954 on
January 29, 2011

Q. What Should I Do About a Mature Crab Apple Tree Bent by Another Larger Tree?

I have a mature ornamental crab apple tree that became bent at the top and an area that stopped putting out leaves when a neighbor’s huge Bradford pear grew into it. After the Bradford pear was removed last summer due to it splitting, my crab apple is now misshapen. What can I do to help restore what used to be a beautifully balanced tree? Should I stake it and trim off the dead areas, or leave it alone and it would take care of itself as was suggested to me by a couple of friends? Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

Answered by
Heather on
January 30, 2011
Certified Expert
A.

You can do some aesthetic pruning to help it reshape itself, but this will mostly consist of pruning off anything that grows outside the shape you envision for it. But do trim off anything that is dead as these dead parts will not help the tree and may attract pests and disease.

You will need to give it some time to regrow into the area that was damaged though.

Most mature trees do not respond well to staking. If it is severely bent, you may want to either change your perspective or replant the tree. Twisted and bent trees can be quite beautiful structurally (in fact some plants, especially for Japanese gardening, are bred to twist and bend). But, if you are looking for a straight tree, you may want to start over.

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Asked by
Anonymous on
April 17, 2011

Q. Crabapple Tree Suckers

I have several tree suckers that I have been cutting back for the past several years. I heard that there is a product out there that will kill the suckers but not the tree. Do you know what that might be?

Answered by
Nikki on
April 18, 2011
Certified Expert
Asked by
Anonymous on
April 20, 2011

Q. Brown Edges on Leaves

I have a long-established Malus ‘John Downie’ and a Prunus amanogawa. They both start growing vigorously in the spring, but the leaf edges turn bright brown, the shoots become distorted so that, although established, they have made very little growth. The soil is clay and heavily top-dressed each year. Thinking it might be water logging, I moved both a few years ago to slightly raised beds, but no difference. Other trees, shrubs, etc. are thriving.

Answered by
Nikki on
April 20, 2011
Certified Expert
Asked by
Anonymous on
May 20, 2011

Q. Broken Tree Trunk

I have a small Prairie Fire Crabapple tree. I had just set it out this month. Something rode it down and broke it in the main trunk area. I stood it back up and supported it. I added nothing, only used the bamboo stick that came with the tree. It is still alive but fear that is brief. I have deer and raccoons. Suspect the deer. But that aside, what should I do?

Answered by
Nikki on
May 20, 2011
Certified Expert
A.

If the bark is still intact, it has a chance of surviving. I would wrap the break with some protective paper (they sell it at nurseries) and keep it staked up. If the bark was broken, there is not much you can do, especially for such a small tree.

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Asked by
Anonymous on
May 23, 2011

Q. Sucker Roots?

I have the same problem with several trees but the worst is with a crab apple tree. It is about 25 years old and has had sucker roots for a long time. They appear to look just like the crab apple tree.  I have pruned them at ground level every year and now they completely encircle the tree about a foot larger in diameter. It looks terrible and has become too difficult to prune every year. Should I brush full strength Round-up on them?

Answered by
Nikki on
May 23, 2011
Certified Expert
Asked by
jmontc on
June 6, 2011

Q. protection from Japanese beetles

I need protection for Weeping Cherry trees and Crab Apple trees from Japanese beetles.

Asked by
Anonymous on
June 7, 2011

Q. Suckers

Can we put anything on the base of our crabapple tree suckers? We try to cut them away, but we can’t seem to keep up.

Answered by
Nikki on
June 8, 2011
Certified Expert
A.

Trees normally start sending up more suckers when they are under more stress than usual. The best way to reduce the suckers is to figure out what is causing stress to the tree and reduce this stress. It will put out fewer suckers. This article may help as well: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/tgen/tree-sucker-removal-and-tree-sucker-control.htm

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