Crabapple, Flowering –
A classic, cold-hardy, small crabapple tree, ‘Radiant’ fills its branches with red buds and deep pink flowers in spring and bright red fruits in late summer to winter. This hybrid, broadly disease-resistant deciduous tree has an upright and spreading shape with green oval leaves that emerge red-green just after the flower buds, which emerge in mid-spring all along the bare branches and open to deep pink flowers that are fragrant and attrractive to bees. The flowers are followed by a crop of pea-sized, bright red apples as early as late summer and lasting long on the tree. The fall foliage is mottled green, yellow, orange and orange-red. Birds rob the fruits for a meal, stripping the tree by the end of winter.
Plant ‘Radiant’ in full sun in any moderately fertile, deep, well-drained soil that is moist throughout the growing season. Althoug it tolerates some drought, this tree will look stressed and shabby unless watered during prolonged dry spells.It is not well-suited to long, humid, wet summers, cool maritime climates, or the heat and dryness of low deserts. It needs a long period of cold in winter to flower fully in spring. Use this small tree as a specimen in the lawn or at the street, as an espalier, at a building corner or in a foundation planting.
Select a site with full sun and well-drained soil.
Plant in spring or fall. Space plants 10 to 20 feet apart, depending on the expected mature size of the variety. Dig a hole only as deep as the rootball and two to three times as wide. If your soil is in very poor condition, amend the soil you’ve removed from the hole with a small amount of compost. Otherwise don’t amend it at all. Carefully remove the tree from the container and set it in the hole. Fill the hole half full with soil, then water it well to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets. Let the water drain, then fill the remainder of hole with soil and water thoroughly.
Apply a layer of compost under the tree each spring, spreading it out to the dripline (the area under the outermost branches). Add a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds, keeping mulch a few inches away from the tree trunk. Water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. Crab apples require little pruning once established. In late winter, prune dead, diseased, and broken branches and trim off any sprouts that arise at the base of the tree.
Winchester Gardens generally stocks this item.