Street Tree Performance Tests of Crabapple Cultivars: Initial Results
Henry D. Gerhold, Heather L. McElroy, and Heather L. H. Rhodes
Abstract: Ten crabapple cultivars are being evaluated as street trees in twelve communities. Using standardized methods, cooperators in the Municipal Tree Restoration Program design plantings, plant trees, and take annual measurements in the first three growing seasons after which they are repeated triennially. Growth in height and trunk diameter varied considerably among locations, as did exposure to diseases and insects. The principal pests were gypsy moth, Japanese beetle, scab, and aphid. The large fruit of Brandywine caused problems in one community, but not in two others. All ten cultivars grew well and remained healthy at most locations, which could be expected because they had been selected for superior street tree growth habit and disease resistance. Minor differences in performance of cultivars during the first three years were not large or uniform enough to recommend one over another, though this may change as evaluations continue. Until then, selections can be based on other traits such as color of flowers or fruit, tree size, and branching habit.