PDA

View Full Version : Are there any Coloradan crab apple tree experts loitering around on this sunny Sunday evening?!



Los Pollos Hermanos
06-29-2014, 10:17 PM
Okay, folks - this is where I go from the sublime to the ridiculous. Don't ask! ;)

This is the link I've been looking at:
http://www.coloradotrees.org/find.php

I need a tree which doesn't get too big, flowers in May and (ideally) bears fruit later on. I'm thinking of the slightly unusual crab apple ( http://www.coloradotrees.org/feature_trees/crabapple.php ) as they have pretty blossom and crab apple jelly is delicious.

It would be planted in a back garden/yard and could be regularly watered during the drier summer months if necessary. I've checked the altitude of the location I'm basing mine on and it's 6,100 feet, if that helps. The location is a few miles west of Denver, btw. I've pounded the streets of the neighbourhood mine is based on to get a feel for it, but didn't pay too much attention to specific plants (and although I've visited twice, both times were in July/August).

I don't need huge amounts of detail, but answers to the following questions would be helpful:
1). Which variety/varieties would flower in May at ~6,000 feet?
2). What is the best time of year to purchase and plant it?
3). Would it need any extra TLC for the first few days/weeks/months whilst it establishes itself?
4). Anything else relevant!

Thanks in advance for any help,

LPH

(a.k.a. serial killer of all things plant-based)

p.s. I googled - apparently "Coloradan" is favoured over "Coloradoan", although I'm happy to stand corrected!

frimble3
06-29-2014, 11:00 PM
No tree expert, but a general question: is the planting to be done in the more or less 'now', or in the past (this would affect varieties available)? And, for most trees, the local gardening centers and city-tree departments recommend making sure it's well-watered in the first year, until the roots get established.

Los Pollos Hermanos
06-29-2014, 11:14 PM
Thanks for the reply!

It'll be 2010/2011 and the family in question are planning on planting whatever variety of tree the next time it's the right time to do so - the following spring, maybe? Looking after it wouldn't be a problem, it's more a "project" for their children.

I've just found this with yet another combination of googling:

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07424.html

A nice bit of bedtime reading, methinks. The "Radiant" one is a fine-looking specimen, bears fruit, and is fairly resistant to disease. I shall investigate...

Cheers,

LPH.

Edit: Am favouring the Dolgo now:
http://www.creeksideboulder.com/shop/deciduous-trees/fruit/crabapple-dolgo
Glad I'm not footing the bill!

Bolero
06-29-2014, 11:35 PM
For planting trees in the UK, look at the Royal Horticultural Society website. There are right times of year, size of hole, how deep you plant, how to stake etc. Not 100% simple. If project for kids, then might have the kids research the right way to do it...... (Depending on character of parents of course).

You could then have kids getting carried away and overwatering and drowning it...

Cathy C
06-29-2014, 11:52 PM
[raises hand] Lifelong Colorado resident here. I can't think of any crab apple trees in the foothills west of Denver. I don't think it would stand up well to the cold. They do grow in Colorado, but on the plains near Pueblo, where it's warmer.

Does it have to be a tree for the book purposes? A chokecherry bush might work well instead. They're native to that area and grow to about 6' high. They likewise make great jelly. :)

Los Pollos Hermanos
06-30-2014, 12:26 AM
The chokecherry has potential, thanks for giving me that to consider. According to a spot more googling, crab apple trees can grow on the Front Range, although one webpage I saw said they can struggle above 8,000 feet.

This place in Boulder mentions Dolgo:
http://www.harlequinsgardens.com/plants/edibles/fruits/

One half of the couple is from Boulder originally, although the family now lives in Golden.

Not too far away:
http://www.jaredsgarden.com/ornamentaltreesb.html

Now you're making me want to go back to Denver for a third visit!!! :D

Cathy C
06-30-2014, 02:23 AM
I grew up with the Brandywine variety in southern Colorado. I could see where they might make it in Boulder (5,500 elev.) and Estes Park (7,000 elev.) has various streets named Crabapple, so maybe they do grow there. But you might shoot for the Japanese variety, which is more suited to the cold and heavy snows and might do better.

Good luck--whichever you decide on!

Los Pollos Hermanos
06-30-2014, 03:04 AM
I might just refer to it as a crab apple tree and not be specific about variety. The majority of people will be like me and not have a clue about different varieties, and those that do can fill in the blanks! I'm conscious that there's always someone out there who *knows*, if you get my drift, hence the amount of research I end up doing.

Thanks for the input, and be pleased to know they know enough not to try planting cacti. :D

Marta
07-01-2014, 10:15 AM
For chokecherries in Denver and Boulder, the elevation seems borderline low, though you might find some. The plant isn't commonly planted--probably less so than crabapples. There are crabapples around, but the fruit is very astringent, so as you pointed out, would work better cooked. Another possibility might be a dwarf apple tree, if you don't need something a bit unusual.

Maybe better, in Boulder, right at the foothills a bit northwest of and higher than Denver, there are lots of ornamental plum trees with attractive purplish leaves. The trees put out showy flowers in the spring and produce edible fruit that can also be made into jelly. Can't swear for sure they're flowering in May--but the weather is unpredictable enough in that part of Colorado that you could easily have them flowering early or late one year. When I lived in Boulder, one year the early-flowering trees started blossoming in January, and this year, it snowed as late as May.

Myrealana
07-01-2014, 07:02 PM
Oh, there are plenty of crabapple trees in Boulder. I went to school there, and I'm allergic as hell to crabapple trees - to the point where no OTC medication can help me. Spring on the CU campus was miserable for me. They flower there from late April through May, sometimes into June. Some years, a warm winter will bring them out of hibernation early, and then you can even get two flowerings in one season.

The weather doesn't stay consistantly cold in that area to damage the trees. Even in the deepest winter, there are days of 50-60 degree temps, and lots of sunshine. It does often snow in April, and sometimes May, but spring snows tend to melt quickly, and they are often followed by warm stretches.

I don't know much about other flowering plants. Between my phobia of bees and my allergies, I tend to avoid them all.

Wicked
07-01-2014, 07:38 PM
Cheyenne, WY is at about 6,000+ ft elevation. There are tons of crabapple trees that grow around town.

I just picked up some trees at a nursery in Fort Collins, CO (apple and plum). They sell twenty-eight different kinds of crabapple trees.


I have a Dolgo, Prairie Fire, and Profusion at home. The apples on the Prairie Fire and Profusion are tiny, and mostly ornamental. The Dolgo has half dollar sized fruits, that my daughter loves to eat right off the tree.

If you have a very specific town in mind, you might try looking up the local nursery online, and see what they sell. There shouldn't be anything there that doesn't do well for the area.

Hoplite
07-01-2014, 08:00 PM
I might just refer to it as a crab apple tree and not be specific about variety. The majority of people will be like me and not have a clue about different varieties, and those that do can fill in the blanks! I'm conscious that there's always someone out there who *knows*, if you get my drift, hence the amount of research I end up doing.

Thanks for the input, and be pleased to know they know enough not to try planting cacti. :D

Actually, cacti does great on its own in the front range!



One half of the couple is from Boulder originally, although the family now lives in Golden.


You may not need it, but I work in Boulder and live (more or less) in Golden. If you need additional research questions on either locality (especially Golden, I don't do much but work in Boulder) I'd be glad to help.


Oh, there are plenty of crabapple trees in Boulder. I went to school there, and I'm allergic as hell to crabapple trees - to the point where no OTC medication can help me. Spring on the CU campus was miserable for me. They flower there from late April through May, sometimes into June. Some years, a warm winter will bring them out of hibernation early, and then you can even get two flowerings in one season.

The weather doesn't stay consistantly cold in that area to damage the trees. Even in the deepest winter, there are days of 50-60 degree temps, and lots of sunshine. It does often snow in April, and sometimes May, but spring snows tend to melt quickly, and they are often followed by warm stretches.

I don't know much about other flowering plants. Between my phobia of bees and my allergies, I tend to avoid them all.

I'd go with what Myrealana says. Trees were blooming starting in April this year, and winters along the front range are usually fairly mild.

Los Pollos Hermanos
07-02-2014, 11:33 PM
Ooooh, you good folk of Colorado are as nice in cyberspace as you are in the flesh! Mah-huse-sive thanks for the input.

Sorry for the delayed reply - I couldn't get on here last night (server maintenance?) to check the thread, let alone reply and thank people.

@ Marta:

Plums could possibly do it - I could always have them plant a plum tree at a later date if the crab apple tree thrives.

@ Myrealana:

That ties in nicely with the woman's parents having crab apple trees when she was a child growing up in Boulder (only referred to in passing). I don't know much about plants either, although my reason is that I tend to kill them with little effort!

@ Wicked:

I'm tending towards the Dolgo variety, mainly for the fruit so the family can cook it up into crab apple jelly. What do they taste like and what's the texture fresh off the tree?

@ Hoplite:

Many thanks for the insider info offer - I may well take you up on it during the editing process this summer! I've stayed in the area (the La Quinta in Wheat Ridge near I-70 - a marvellous base for getting out and about) for a week on two separate occasions and treated myself to a nice room at Table Mountain Inn for my final night of last summer's road trip. During visits I wander around various locations asking all manner of bizarre questions - there's no better way to add authenticity to a story than to throw in snippets of relevant local knowledge.

The family live in a non-specified location based on the houses off 19th St at the foot of Lookout Mountain (they've also been near Lake Tahoe for part of the story - another stunningly beautiful part of the world). I left the car in town and walked up to the furthest houses last summer to get a feel for the area, the sounds, the smells, etc - I was puffing like a billy goat from about the School of Mines onwards. Being the flattest of flatlanders I'm fine walking on the level, even up in RMNP, but I do notice I get slightly winded going uphill or climbing steps. A huge sandwich and a brownie from D'Deli aided my recovery though!

When I make my millions as an author and Tarantino buys the movie rights :roll: I shall be buying myself a house in Golden - I love the way it's not too big but not too small, people are friendly and 45 minutes in one direction you're in the big city and 45 minutes in the opposite direction you're up in the mountains. Ah well, dreams are free!

Cacti: shows I shouldn't make assumptions just because I didn't see the desert landscaping they have in places like Phoenix!

Boulder: I've visited twice. It rained twice.

****************

Isn't it said that if you don't like the weather in Colorado, you just need to wait five minutes?! ;)

Cheers,

LPH.

Wicked
07-03-2014, 12:19 AM
@ Wicked:

I'm tending towards the Dolgo variety, mainly for the fruit so the family can cook it up into crab apple jelly. What do they taste like and what's the texture fresh off the tree?



Tart. My daughter describes them as very, very, sour. She says the texture is crisp and smooth, like a regular apple.

Los Pollos Hermanos
07-03-2014, 12:34 AM
Thanks...

A tonne of sugar should solve that problem! :D

http://lasyahealing.ca/recipes-nutrition-2/crabapple-jelly/

I'd also try adding some spice.

Hoplite
07-03-2014, 01:22 AM
A huge sandwich and a brownie from D'Deli aided my recovery though!


You've definitely been to Golden!

Los Pollos Hermanos
07-03-2014, 02:08 AM
That place is immense - and so are the portions! I went three times last visit. Oink.

Hoplite
07-03-2014, 02:21 AM
That place is immense - and so are the portions! I went three times last visit. Oink.

Hey, you were on vacation; where else are you going to find a corned-buffalo with blue-cheese aioli sandwich? I'd recommend trying Woody's pizza next time you visit. It's another local favorite.

Los Pollos Hermanos
07-03-2014, 09:49 AM
I was quite partial to the Aspen Buddha, minus the sprouts. Cheers for the heads-up on Woody's. I did notice the place, but I invariably spent most of the time carrying a food baby due to the constant bombardment of yummies from all directions. Next time!

I've fictionalised parts of the town, mostly those where I need a specific type of business, although streets tend to be referred to by name. For example, in "my" Golden there's a posh Chinese restaurant which I imagine to be where the Bridgewater Grill is. The exact location is never specified though, just that it's near Clear Creek. I've done the same around Tahoe - Heidi's Pancake House is referred to (in passing) as Greta's Pancakes!

blacbird
07-03-2014, 10:30 AM
There is a native American tree which grows mainly in the Midwest, called the Iowa or prairie crabapple, Malus iowensis, by formal scientific nomenclature, I believe. It has phenomenally fragrant flowers and fruit, but the fruit is inedibly bitter. I'm not sure how far west it is known, but it would be a good candidate for a small ornamental tree species in Colorado, methinks.

caw

Los Pollos Hermanos
07-04-2014, 12:23 AM
Cheers for the info - I'll investigate further...