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Flowering Crabapple - Malus Prairifire Red

Updated on May 15, 2020

Flowering Crab

We have one in our front yard that did well this year, surviving the winter, and it is May and it's already blossoming. Pretty maroon blossoms. Beautiful. My husband wished that he had purchased more than just the one, but, he hadn't.

I was at Fleet Farm and their selections of trees were apparently on sale. There was a beautiful blooming tree just like ours, and I purchased it. We put it in the back yard in between two stumps of ash trees that my hubby removed this spring. Those trees were interfering with the Dish network signal.

potted, and deer protection with a removable tube
potted, and deer protection with a removable tube
Pick up near dirt by stem. I think that spider looking object to the left is my shoe...
Pick up near dirt by stem. I think that spider looking object to the left is my shoe...
target area
target area
shovel
shovel

Preparing to Dig

I decided that when I dug the dirt, I would collect it on a plastic contractor bag, so I could easily pull the dirt to where I needed to pull it back into the hole. The extra grass I dug off the top of the hole, I placed in a spot where grass was recently disrupted, and I repaired the hole with my grass chunks.

Tools

First I started removing the top grass with a potato fork. I went in a circle shape and loosened the grassy top by poking the fork in, and pressing sideways and dislodging it from the rest of the dirt. I repeated the process until I had a complete circle that was a little bigger than my root ball.

potato fork
potato fork
gloves
gloves
a good shoe for digging... a Carolina hiker
a good shoe for digging... a Carolina hiker
tip grass up
tip grass up
repeat
repeat
peel grass and roots out of the hole
peel grass and roots out of the hole
loosen dirt with fork
loosen dirt with fork
place the grass in an area that needs grass.
place the grass in an area that needs grass.
dirt in hole
dirt in hole
remove dirt in hole to plastic bag
remove dirt in hole to plastic bag
press shovel into dirt, lift and place on plastic bag
press shovel into dirt, lift and place on plastic bag
interesting things in the dirt. This is an old bent nail
interesting things in the dirt. This is an old bent nail
worms
worms
earthworm poop or castings
earthworm poop or castings
lift shovelful, place on plastic, repeat
lift shovelful, place on plastic, repeat
dirt on shovel, less as hole deepens
dirt on shovel, less as hole deepens
here is the hole with most of dirt removed
here is the hole with most of dirt removed
lay tree on side
lay tree on side
since tree is rootbound, the tree is stuck in the pot
since tree is rootbound, the tree is stuck in the pot
press gently and forcibly on pot to squish root ball, turn the pot and repeat entire way around
press gently and forcibly on pot to squish root ball, turn the pot and repeat entire way around
turn, and press
turn, and press
press
press
gently pull tree from pot
gently pull tree from pot
very rootbound
very rootbound
bucket of water
bucket of water
grasp tree next to dirt and dip into bucket of water
grasp tree next to dirt and dip into bucket of water
place root ball in hole
place root ball in hole
dump rest of water into hole
dump rest of water into hole
good enough
good enough

Dirt Back into Hole

Now that the tree is in the hole, dirt needs to be placed in between the root ball and the earth. Fill it in. Gently. Let the castings naturally fill the hole. Move the dirt with your gloved hand. Pull the plastic bag around the tree.

I decided that the crown, or bump needed to stick out of the ground, so I placed the plastic tube around the crown, then proceeded to scoop dirt around the tree. It will settle as it rains, but for now, it's protected.

the dirt that I dug out of the hole
the dirt that I dug out of the hole
pull plastic closer to hole
pull plastic closer to hole
use gloved hand to pull dirt into the hole
use gloved hand to pull dirt into the hole
see the gap? it needs to have dirt in there.
see the gap? it needs to have dirt in there.
you can see the water in the hole. Cover it up with dirt.
you can see the water in the hole. Cover it up with dirt.
other trees seem to be covered...
other trees seem to be covered...
tree bump or crown, put plastic tube down around the crown and then place dirt next to plastic tube
tree bump or crown, put plastic tube down around the crown and then place dirt next to plastic tube
leave taping for dominant branch. It will ensure that tree grows straight up
leave taping for dominant branch. It will ensure that tree grows straight up
remove elastic band from price tag
remove elastic band from price tag
discard elastic
discard elastic

Crown Uncovered

Perhaps leave the crown uncovered. I don't know what a crown does, but I think it needs to be above the soil.

dirt
dirt
crown
crown
tube down around crown
tube down around crown
dirt
dirt
done
done
Good job, Char!
Good job, Char!
put tools away
put tools away
retain plastic bag and bucket for next tree job.
retain plastic bag and bucket for next tree job.

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