How to Plant Flowering Crabapple Trees

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Flowering crabapple trees have to be planted in a very specific way. Learn how to plant flowering crabapple trees with help from a certified horticulturist in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Garden Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Jim Tarr. I'm with Glover Nursery and today we'll be learning about how to plant a flowering crabapple tree. We're going to be planting one of my favorite crabapples today. This happens to be prairie fire, but many of them are good for the inner mountain area. Crabapples are way underused in our vicinity and should be used more often. Extremely durable to heat, cold, drought, bad soil... you name it, they can take it. When we plant our crabapple, we want to dig a hole that's the same depth here as it's currently growing. So when we take this out, just kind of hit the pot a little bit and that will release the root ball. In this case, the roots look pretty good. They're not all balled up. If they happen to be really twined around the root ball, you'll probably want to take your fingers and tease those out just a little bit. In this case, we're good to go. We're going to be using three things to plant our tree with today. We'll be using some compost - we want to add the compost at about 20-30%, but we don't want to over-amend the soil, because to make a healthy tree the roots have to get into the native soil. So we just want to make a slight addition to get them started right. The other two items we'll be using is root starter. Root starter is a liquid fertilizer, and it also has vitamin B1 in it, and the vitamin B1 will help in the rooting process. The other thing we'll be using today is mykee. This is a beneficial soil fungus. And it sounds a little odd to put fungus in with your soil, but it attaches right to the roots and there is a relationship between this fungus and the plant, and this will help in the uptake of water and nutrients. We'll take our tree, and I predug a hole back here... let's see if you can see it here. I dug it so it's currently right here when the tree goes in. We want to set this tree in the hole, just so it's even where it currently was in the old pot. Let's see... that's just about right. Now if you want to, you can raise this up just a tiny bit. We're going to want to add compost to our soil - 20-30% maximum. I have my soil over here on the side. We've already added our compost to it, so we're going to take this, mix it up well with the existing soil. You can see the junky clay we're planting these in. That's okay: crabapples can take it. Before we back fill, we want to make sure we use our mykee, which is the beneficial soil fungus. We'll go ahead and take the appropriate amount - in this case, this is a ten gallon, we'll use about two cups - and we'll just use our hand. We're going to rub it right on the side of the root ball, all the way around it, to make sure it makes contact with the roots. Once we have the mykke put on, now we can back fill with our amended soil. Once you have that back filled, we want to really soak this in with water. Watch this soil, how it'll kind of smash down, and then once we get it all smashed down in there well, we'll put a little bit more soil on it. You can't put too much water on these when you first start. This is Jim Tarr again, and we have just learned how to plant a flowering crabapple tree.

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