C R A B A P P L E S
'Sparkler' crabapple's rose-pink flowers are a spring highlight. Newer varities are more disease resistant, but this spreading tree still yields deep red fruits and winter food for birds.
SMALL ORNAMENTAL TREES
|FLOWERING PLUM OR ALMOND,
||10-15 feet, usually no fruit, attractive trunk and branches|
||hardy, early spring flowers|
'Minnesota Strain' redbud displays an attractive dark pink to purple flower in early May. Growing to 12 feet, the small trees are open-spreading with multi-stems and are suitable for protected sites in southern Minnesota.
R E D B U D
P L U M S
'Princess Kay' is a showy, double-flowered selection of Canadian wild plum (Prunus nigra) found growing wild in Itasca County, Minnesota. Its fragrant flowers last from seven to 10 days in late April or early May. Very attractive for northern landscapes, it must have well drained soil.
PROPER PLANTING IS CRITICAL if you want healthy, vigorous trees and shrubs. Start with a hole at least twice as wide as the rootball. If you're planting a tree or shrub with a main trunk, gently brush soil away from the stem to find the first root closest to the soil surface. This area is the 'root flare,' the transition zone between a tree's trunk and roots.
When a tree or shrub is planted too deeply, the roots may partially or completely encircle the trunk above the root flare and interrupt the flow of sap to the roots. Eventually, the flow stops and the tree dies. This condition - known as girdling root syndrome - may also cause the tree to fall in a windstorm, as U of M researchers documented in the severe storms of 1998.
Adjust the soil depth in the planting hole so the first root will be just below the soil surface. When you fill the hole you may add compost, peat or composted woodchips to replace up to one-third of the original soil volume. For proper drainage, it is vital that the soil you use for backfill consists mostly of original soil.
Water regularly during the first few growing seasons until the plant is well established. The type of soil (clay, sand, etc.) will determine how much water is needed.