Thursday, September 14, 2006

Crabapples, a western MA orchard and autumn

There is a new ornamental crabapple planting at the University of MA orchard in western MA. The planting forms part of the framework for a garden tribute to those who bought the orchard in 1962 and gave it to the University for fruit research. According to farm manager Joe Sincuk, the crabapple planting serves three functions:
  • demonstration of the wide variety of crabapple cultivars,
  • education about fruit trees and,
  • pollination for nearby standard apples.

I spent a good part of a recent warm and sunny afternoon wandering from tree to tree looking at the aumn features makes these trees terrific four-season interest plantings:
  • leaves,
  • bark, and
  • fruit.
Most of these trees, although disease and pest resistant (not pest free), are fairly tried and true varieties. My afternoon was like attending a party of old friends. There is more about this planting in my articles Crabapple Trees in the Landscape and Crabapples and Autumn Qualities.