Last week’s snowstorm that paralyzed traffic locally and throughout the metro Portland area inspired us to feature Sparkling Sprite® Crabapple today. The harder the snow fell on the sturdy little tree near our office entrance, the better it looked! By day’s end, it resembled a big, puffy snowball. Stout, stiff branches withstood the weight of the snow, and the tree maintained its perfectly rounded, topiary shape with nary a twig out of place.
With each passing year, we’re more impressed with this exceptional crabapple that we introduced to the trade in 2016. Outstanding flower, fruit, foliage, fall color plus unique branch structure and form add up to a small-stature tree that delivers big impact in all seasons of the year. Factor in its attractiveness to springtime pollinators and winter-hungry birds, plus its stout, storm-resistant structure, and we think Sparkling Sprite® adds up to a perfect 10!
Profuse blooms, extraordinarily disease resistant foliage, attractive yellow fall color, a prolific crop of tiny, persistent fruits, and a topiary-like canopy are a rare combination among flowering trees.
Pink buds of Sparkling Sprite® Crabapple open to fragrant, pink-tinged white flowers that smother its densely branched, rounded head. Ornamental crabapples are proven pollinator favorites, earning four stars (the highest rating) in studies conducted by the University of Kentucky that determined which Plants Bees Like Best. Based on our observations, it is a pollinator magnet when in bloom, attracting many bees and hummingbirds, too.
Growing to a height and spread of approximately 12’ x 12’, the perfectly rounded canopy maintains a year-round, formal, topiary-like shape with little to no pruning. An added bonus for those who love to extend the “bloom” season through the winter months: Strong, stout branches with short internodes are perfectly suited for supporting holiday lights.
Perfectly suited for patio, terrace or container culture, the summer foliage of this petite top-grafted tree is especially clean, bright green and disease resistant.
Fruit and Fall Color
An abundant crop of tiny fruits forms amid the leaves of late summer. Yellow fall color complements the golden yellow fruits that turn orange as they persist into the winter months.