must-have (for you and the birds): crabapples
IT’S HARD TO THINK OF ANOTHER TREE that gets more appreciation here from me and the birds. (And don’t forget: I know what birds like, even beyond crabapples.) This last week has been crabapple time on my hillside (above), and it made me think about how much I love these extra-showy members of the genus Malus, and not just in flower.
If I had to recommend only one…I couldn’t, but I most of all love the crabapples with Malus sargentii “blood”—the wider-than-tall genes of the Sargent crabapple, like my pink-flowered ‘Candy Mint’ plants (the two paler-pink ones in the photo), or beautiful ‘Tina’ (a variety I don’t have—yet). I like the Sargent types because they look beautiful even bare, with their hummocky structure. The dark-pink, slightly more upright tree in the background is showy ‘Prairifire,’ by the way.
So that’s it: My annual pitch for adding a crabapple to your landscape—and the landscape of your local birds.