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Sparkling jewels

Crabapple fruits add sparkling color to the winter landscape.

Red crabapple fruit in winterCrabapple trees have dropped their leaves and most have dropped their fruit, too. This litter creates a mess. That’s unfortunate. These fruitless trees will look unremarkable all winter long. That’s really unfortunate.

Why not select a variety with persistent fruit? Some crabs hold onto their fruits through much of the winter, adding sparkles of red and gold in the landscape. These fruits will also attract songbirds, adding another dimension of life and color to your home surroundings.

Red Jewel™ is renowned for its display of bright red fruits during winter. ‘Donald Wyman’, Sugar Tyme®, ’Prairfire’ and Sargent are other outstanding red-fruited types.

If you are looking for something different, ‘Snowdrift’ and ‘Professor Sprenger’ have orange fruits and the yellow fruits of Harvest Gold® are absolutely fascinating.

The next time you look for a crab, don’t focus on its spring flowers—these last for a couple weeks. Instead, consider how the tree looks during winter—this lasts for five months. Consider a crabapple with persistent fruit.

Written by Tom Kalb, Extension Horticulturist, North Dakota State University. Published in the NDSU Yard & Garden Report, November 15, 2014. The photo was made available under a Creative Commons license specified by the photographer: Leah Grunzke.

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