A week and a half ago (Apr 13 and 14), we had two nights of hard freezing temperatures in much of the Pikes Peak area. Temperatures got down into the teens, and it seemed likely that many early blooming fruit trees might lose their almost-ready-to-open blooms. (We’ve written about fruit trees and freezing temps before here.) Amazingly, given what we know about fruit tree blossoms and killing temperatures, it seems that many of those trees escaped losing all of the blooms and may have only suffered some frost/freeze damage.

Here are some photos of a crabapple that is blooming in my yard this week (about a week later than “normal” – it was just about to open before it was set back by the freeze). (more…)

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crabapple_frozen.jpgIt’s no secret the weather was incredibly warm (and dry!) in March in our area this year. People have been thrilled to see plants greening up and blooming earlier than usual. In fact, many of our flowering fruit trees, such as peaches and apples (including crabapples), are blooming well over two weeks early this year.

The problem is, the earlier these trees start blooming, the more vulnerable they are to spring frosts and freezes that often occur in early-to-mid April. And tonight, we are predicted to get down to 27 degrees (or lower!) in the Pikes Peak region. I used to think that as long as my tree had finished blooming before a major frost like this hit, it was okay and going to have fruit. Last year proved me wrong. And this year, my tree is just starting its bloom with this frost coming. (more…)

Appearance

Flowering crabapple trees, with single to double blooms of white, pink, or carmine, are a beautiful symbol of springtime. Varying widely in form, cultivars range from small upright trees 15 feet tall to umbrella-like specimens more than 30 feet across. Some form narrow columns; some are weeping. Many produce small, ornamental fruit that lasts all winter, in shades of yellow, orange, or red. The simple green leaves of some varieties may have a reddish cast, especially in the spring. ‘Indian Summer’ is an example having orange fall foliage. ‘Molten Lava’ has attractive yellow bark. With over 200 cultivars available, you can choose a tree that matches your site and provides four seasons of garden interest.

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