The Prairifire Flowering Crabapple is arguably one of the most beautiful landscape trees. It has stunning pinkish-red buds that turn to bright pink blooms. Its burgundy foliage turns green with a hint of red. Its fruit, an important source of food for many birds and mammals, is a dark red. Even its bark has a reddish color. This unique tree shows its red color and stunning beauty in all four seasons!
The Paririfire Flowering Crabapple is able to resist a number of common diseases, attracts wildlife, can grow and thrive in a variety of soil types, and is low maintenance. For these reasons, in addition to its sheer beauty, it is one of the most popular landscape trees in yards, walkways and parks throughout the U.S. As it matures, it becomes dense and round in shape. It is recommended that the Prairifire Flowering Crabapple gets at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. It’s a mid-sized tree and, at maturity, will reach 15 to 25 feet in height and width.
This particular tree was developed as a result of the collaboration between Purdue University, Rutgers University and the University of Illinois. This collaboration, called the PRI Initiative, was formed in 1945 to develop new disease resistant apple trees that wouldn’t require orchard owners to use expensive and potentially harmful pesticides. In 1982, thirty-seven years after the PRI Initiative was launched, Dr. Daniel Dayton from the University of Illinois, introduced the Prairifire Flowering Crabapple. The misspelling of the name by Dr. Dayton was intentional.
In addition to being a great tree for landscapes, it is also a popular choice of people interested in green burials who are looking to plant a living tree memorial of a loved one. As described by Mark Brewer, Co-Founder of The Living Urn, the leading bio urn and planting system in the U.S. that gives families the ability to grow a tree memorial with the ashes of a loved one, “The Prairifire Flowering Crabapple is a beautiful tree and one of the most popular options of our customers. People love that we offer this tree and we get great feedback from customers on it.”
Brewer continues, “It is also a recommended tree of our arborists. This is because in addition to its year-round beauty, it’s a hardy tree that can thrive in a variety of soil conditions. In combination with The Living Urn, a person without a green thumb can grow a beautiful prairifire flowering crabapple tree memorial with ease.”