Radiant Crabapple Tree Information

Overview

Crabapple trees (Malus spp.) are showy, spring-flowering deciduous trees popular with home gardeners for their hardy nature and attractive appearance. These trees make excellent specimen trees and usually become a focal point in any landscape. 'Radient' is a specific cultivar, or type, of crabapple tree that differs from other types in appearance, disease resistance and size.

Appearance

Malus 'Radient' features deeply crimson buds that appear bright pink when open. The flowers have single petals. This cultivar has reddish-purple spring leaves that turn green as the summer progresses. 'Radient' also has great fall color, with 1/2-inch, bright red fruit that shows well against the bright green and yellow autumn leaves. 'Radient' is one of the larger crabapple cultivars, reaching maximum heights of over 25 feet, with a canopy 20 feet wide.

Climate

Crabapple trees in general do very well in temperate zones, according to the University of Florida, with mild summers and cold winters. These trees thrive in United States Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones 4 through 8A. 'Radient' is cold-hardy and will also grow in high altitudes. It is often found growing in the Rocky Mountain states.

Location

Plant your crabapple tree in a location that receives full sunlight, but is not too hot. A south- or west-facing location in a warm climate may cause the buds to open too early and expose them to frost damage, according to Colorado State University. These trees can tolerate a wide variety of soils, but grow best in loamy soil that is mixed with sand or clay.

Culture

Crabapple trees in general are drought-tolerant, according to the University of Florida, but they still grow best with regular watering. Drip irrigation is best, as this will keep the leaves dry and allow the water to reach the deep roots of the tree. Add a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch around the tree to the edge of the canopy to retain the moisture in the soil and prevent weed growth. Pruning should be done after flowering, but before June 1. Remove crossing or vertical branches, suckers and broken branches.

Problems

'Radient' is resistant to many diseases, including cedar-apple rust, mildew and fire blight, the latter of which can be devastating to crabapple trees. This cultivar can, however, suffer from apple scab, which is a fungal disease, according to Washington State University. The fungi travel on water, so avoid watering the tree from above, which can leave water sitting on the leaves, and make sure there is plenty of room for air to circulate around your crabapple.

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About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.