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Thread: Crab Apple Tree

  1. #1
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    Default Crab Apple Tree

    i bought a crab apple tree from Lowe's...i heard that you need another tree so the bees can cross-pollinate (make flowers/fruit) is that true? should i plant in full sun or full shade? and what do i feed it when i water?

  2. #2

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    If you live in Anchorage, chases are there are other crab apple trees in your area that'll provide a cross pollination source. Full sun is probably preferable, but partial sun may be ok. I wouldn't plant it in full shade. A handful of lime and a handful of starter fertilizer in the bottom of the hole when you plant it should be plenty to get it going. I wouldn't worry about continually feeding it unless you have very poor soil.

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    I think it will need another similar tree to produce fruit. If you have neighbors that have an apple or crab apple tree you should be fine.

    They prefer sun.

    I think you can get fertilizers specific to fruit trees, or I know a lot of people use composted manuer.

    But you should probably water at least once a day till your tree gets established.

  4. #4
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    thanks for all of the advice guys....and no, i'm the only one in my neighborhood with a crab apple tree so, looks like i'm getting another one.

  5. #5

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    You could always wait till spring and graft a few other pollinating varieties on the the same tree. Then you have one tree that can pollinate itself.

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    there are new limbs growing from the base of the tree...would that be the same thing?

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    If it is a grafted tree it might, but you probably don't want to do that.

    I am assuming that these branches are suckers? If they are then you might want to trim them off.

  8. #8
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    the suckers you describe are probaby coming from the root stock, and not from the fruit-bearing scion (above ground part of the tree). you should prune these suckers off as the root-stock is selected for it's hardiness and not for it's fruit-bearing. let your main trunk do the above ground thing, and keep the root stock down where it belongs (don't let it sucker)

    Also, for future reference there are a lot of local apple growers who sell trees. What you get at a box store is low quality and not created with Alaska conditions in mind. Local may be more expensive but you get what you pay for.


    I suspect your tree has been pollinated. I refuse to believe that there isn't another apple tree nearby you in Anchorage. Pollination may be better with many trees in the same yard but it's not necessary as it is nothing for a bee to fly a mile while foraging, and I bet there are lots of apple trees within 1 mile of you, assuming that there are a couple hundred homes nearby.

  9. #9

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    Also remember the wind is a pollinator and can carry pollen a long way. So even if there are no other apple trees in your immediate area, there's plenty of apple tree pollen floating around in the wind from other parts of town.

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