A Winter Jewel in the Landscape
‘Red Jewel’ Crabapple consistently appears on the lists of “best crabapples for the home gardener”, and it’s easy to see why. These compact little trees (15’ tall by about 12’ wide) have a nice, upright pyramidal shape, are relatively undemanding to grow, and are highly disease resistant.
In the spring, soft pinkish buds open to produce clouds of snowy white, fragrant blossoms. But the thing that really makes ‘Red Jewel’ such a standout in the landscape is hinted at by its name. In the fall, brilliant red fruits appear – and they linger on the tree long after most other crabapple fruits have browned and been devoured by winter flocks of robins and cedar waxwings.
Photos of these fruits really don’t do them justice. Looking at them on a foggy winter day here at the nursery, they almost seem to glow. For an extra dramatic effect, try planting Red Jewel in front of a line of conifers or other evergreens. You’ll find the dark green foliage contrasts beautifully with the cherry-red crabapple fruit!
‘Red Jewel’ is one of a handful of crabapple varieties that birds tend to not eat – which is probably one of the reasons the fruits can linger on into spring during mild winters (‘Prairie Fire’ and ‘Snowdrift’ are both good options if you are looking for a crabapple that attracts birds).