Malus ‘Prairie’ Fire is a crab apple with a lavish blossom, beautiful cup-shaped flowers and coloured fruits. Initially this small tree has an upright habit but later it becomes round and grows 5 - 6 m tall. Its year-old twigs are dark reddish brown that produce purple leaves purple that turn dark green as they mature. This ornamental apple is very hardy and thrives in sunny locations in any garden soil.
The ovate to oval emerging leaves are purplish red and turn dark green later in the season. Their yellow-orange autumn colours are very attractive. In May, the purplish pink flowers open out of red buds, which measure 3.5 to 4 cm. They are followed by small, dark purple-red to purple-brown crab apples. The fruits that form on the twigs and branches by fall are significantly large and have a very high luminosity.
Ornamental apples are generally adaptable to soil and location. Prairie Fire prefers a medium-heavy, nutrient-rich soil that is not too dry. It will tolerate even loose soils but no waterlogging.
Malus Prairie is cut tolerant and can be kept in shape with pruning. A slight pruning may also be required to keep the plants healthy or to correct structural problems. Dead and intersecting branches should be removed before spring. Well-rooted plants like this one need additional water only in extreme drought.
Malus Prairie Fire is one of the newer ornamental crab apple varieties. The beautiful flowers provide valuable nectar for bees and its fruits provide food for birds. This makes it perfect specimen small tree in any sized garden.
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