Firebird Dwarf Crabapple Trees

Firebird Dwarf Crabapple Trees

Crabapple trees are scene stealers on the spring garden point, covering their canopies using a bright cloak of blossoms worthy of a standing ovation. Crabapples are acceptable for both large and small gardens. In addition to ample spring blooms, crabapples produce small fruits that attract birds and other wildlife. “Firebird” crabapple (Malus sargentii “Select A” PP12621) is a patented cultivar developed in Wisconsin. Unlike a number of different crabapples, this tree’s fruit isn’t fit for people to eat. Based on ZipCodeZoo’s website, “Firebird” grows best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 8.

Tree Description

“Firebird” crabapple is a dwarf variety that grows just about 5 feet tall with a canopy which finally spreads to about 8 feet wide. Like the remainder of the tree, the trunk is small, measuring 4 inches or so at maturity. As the tree ages, the reddish-brown bark turns mild brownish-gray and may peel slightly. The divisions grow perpendicular to the limbs. Limbs and branches may become so dense that they begin to rub against one another. When this occurs, the tree may be pruned to avoid injury and enhance air circulation. The leaves have been three-lobed when young, maturing to an oval form. Foliage is yellowish-green, somewhat darker on top than on the underside, and turns bright yellow in the fall.

Fruit and Flowers

A late bloomer compared to several other Malus sargentii cultivars, “Firebird” makes up for its tardiness having an eye color series. The tree produces various clusters of six to eight red buds with purple overtones. These blossom to delicate, slightly fragrant white blooms. Once summer falls ago, “Firebird” crabapples begin to turn red, ultimately becoming a dark, flamboyant red. The crabapples are approximately 1 inch in diameter and also eaten by birds after the fruit softens. “Firebird” crabapples often persist through December or later, supplying interest in the garden long after the leaves are gone.

Culture and Disease Resistance

“Firebird” prefers a moist, well-drained soil with a pH level of 5.5 to 7.5. The tree produces optimum blooms and fruit when it is planted in full sun. Plant the trees before they begin to produce leaves in spring if you are putting them at the lawn. Outdoor trees should be spaced 6 to 8 feet apart. Newly planted trees must be kept moist until the roots are firmly established. After that, the tree requires very little maintenance other than fortifying crowded branches and removing suckers. “Firebird” is immune to several diseases which can decimate different crabapples, such as scab, fireblight, mildew and cedar-apple rust.


Its small stature makes “Firebird” acceptable to be used as a foundation plant in the backyard, massed or grouped together, or trained as espalier against a fence or building. It can be used as a patio tree and also grows well in containers. Tolerant of misuse by deer and rabbits, “Firebird” is also tough enough to survive in polluted urban areas. When deciding on a planting site, keep in mind the broad spread of this tree’s dense canopy, that may shade out smaller plants in summer.

See related

Comments are closed.