Malus ‘Red Splendor’
Red Splendor crabapple
NATIVE RANGE AND HABITAT
Twenty to thirty species of crabapples occur in the temperate regions of North America, Europe and Asia. Crabapples tend to be cross fertile and freely hybridize. Authorities recognize approximately 800 crabapple types.
Not native to Kentucky.
Growth Habit and Form
Tree size, flower color, fruit color, growth and branching habit vary considerably with the cultivated variety grown. ‘Red Splendor’ is a deciduous tree that grows 20 to 30 feet in height. The habit is upright with a more or less open, round, spreading, symmetrical canopy with a regular (or smooth) outline.
Dark reddish green leaves turn reddish purple in the fall.
’Red Splendor’ is an alternate bearer, blooming heavily only every other year. Flowers buds emerge rose red and open pink to rose pink. Individual flowers are 1 4/5 inches in diameter.
Fruit is red, 3/5 inch in diameter, persistent drupe.
Bark and branching habit typical of Malus.
Wild and Cultivated Varieties
Twenty to thirty species of crabapples occur in the temperate regions of North America, Europe and Asia. Authorities recognize approximately 800 crabapple types. The crabapple species and cultivated varieties represent a range of habits, sizes, and flower and fruit colors.
“Red Splendor’ is grown for its showy flowers and attractive, brightly-colored fruit, fall color, and winter effect. Use as a specimen, near patios, or as a residential street tree. Trees used as street trees will require regular pruning early in their life to train lower branches for pedestrian and vehicle clearance. Trees are popular around overhead power lines due to their small stature. Crabapple trees have been successfully grown in urban areas where air pollution, poor drainage, compacted soil, and/or drought are common. Crabapples adapted for street tree and urban uses include ‘Adams’, ‘Bob White’, ‘David’, ‘Donald Wyman’, ‘Profusion’, ‘Red Splendor’ and Malus floribunda.
Hardy in USDA Zone 4-8.
Cultivation and Propagation Information
Root pruned crabapple trees transplant most easily. Trees are best grown in full sun for best development of flowers and fruit. Crabapples are adaptable to varying soil conditions, but do best in well-drained, moist and acid soil.
Diseases and Insects
“Red Splendor’ is slightly to moderately susceptible to scab and moderately susceptible to firelight.
Wildlife relishes the fruit.
Crabapples require periodic pruning to shape the tree, open up the center of the plant to light and air, to cut off out-of-place branches, and remove sucker growth. Pruning should be completed before early June. Most crabapples initiate flower buds for the next season in mid-June to early July and pruning at this time or later results in decreased flower production the following year.
There are hundreds of Crabapple cultivars with single or double, red, pink, or white flowers, and varying fruit size. Many are cultivars of Malus baccata and Malus floribunda (Japanese crabapple). Since disease resistance can vary depending on where a particular cultivated variety is grown, be sure to choose a cultivar that has been shown to be resistant to disease in your area.
TRADITIONAL AND MODERN USES
The flowering crabapples are the dominant spring-flowering trees in the northern latitudes.