The Louisa crabapple is a weeping crabapple variety with branches that cascade toward the ground in an umbrella form.
This ornamental tree produces breathtaking pale pink blooms in the spring that transform into tiny yellowish-orange fruits in the fall.
Are you looking to buy a Louisa crabapple tree? Check availability here.
This weeping crabapple variety is smaller than other crabapple tree varieties, growing up to about fifteen feet.
The foliage is lush and wild, with dark green, lobed leaves up to three inches long. Small red buds form on the leaves, transforming into pale pink flowers. These flowers are followed by vibrant yellow fruit with orange accents dusted in.
The fruit the Louisa crabapple tree produces is too bitter to be edible. Even when used for jelly or jam, these crabapples are sour and unappealing.
History of the Louisa Crabapple Tree
Crabapple trees originated in Asia and spread around the globe to North America and Europe.
Since the origin of crabapple trees, cultivars have bred different varieties to withstand different climates and environments.
The Louisa crabapple tree was cultivated by Polly Hill in 1987 and named after her daughter Louisa.
Polly was well-known in gardening because she planted seeds from around the world with little to no experience, and the resulting trees thrived!
She bred this variety of crabapple in a practical exercise where she gathered unique fruit tree seeds to plant and gave them names that held meaning to her.
Since this variety of crabapple isn’t edible, they are not used for cooking like some other varieties.
Instead, this ornamental tree provides small shade and beautiful pink flowers hanging by the weeping limbs. It provides a pleasing aesthetic to your lawn or home garden and can help other fruit trees thrive.
The cascading branches draw the eye to this beautiful weeping tree, whether in full bloom or heavy with fruit.
When planted along a driveway or property line, the Louisa crabapple tree makes a great addition to landscapes.
As with other crabapple trees, the bark releases a pleasant aroma when slowly burned, so it can be used in your fireplace (or wood-burning stove) as an air freshener to make your home smell lovely.
Growing Your Own
The Louisa crabapple tree is a hardy, drought-resistant variety. This low-maintenance variety only grows to around fifteen feet and is compact.
Growing your crabapple tree can be a rewarding experience once you see your tree covered in its beautiful pale-pink-colored blooms. The flowers also release a lovely scent, so your garden and entire yard will smell amazing once this tree begins to bloom!
The Louisa crabapple tree is easy for beginners to grow and care for, but they are more slow-growing than other varieties, so it may take several years before your tree reaches the flowering stage.
These trees do very well in various temperatures, with the Louisa crabapple tree being hardy enough to produce flowers even in cold weather.
How to Plant
You must first locate the ideal spot to plant your Louisa crabapple tree. This will be away from large trees, structures, or sidewalks so that the roots can spread without damaging your property or nearby trees.
You should plant the tree in the early fall for the best results.
To prepare the site, dig a hole as deep as the root ball on your tree and three times as wide as the root ball. Remove the soil from the hole and amend it with compost or peat moss to enrich the soil.
Place the tree inside the hole and return the soil to the site, packing it down firmly around the root ball. Fill the hole with the amended soil until it reaches the tree’s base, where the roots begin to flare out from the main stem.
Water the soil very well and then add a layer of mulch around the area, keeping the mulch away from the tree trunk to prevent the bark from getting too moist and decaying.
After your Louisa tree is established, within a year or two, it will only need a little water. The rainfall will suffice unless the area you live in suffers from drought conditions for a long period, in which you would then add a few inches of water to the soil, careful not to drench it.
Before watering it, be sure to check the soil to make sure it needs water. The tree needs water if the first two to four inches of soil are dry.
An established Louisa crabapple tree can benefit from fertilization in some cases.
Before fertilizing your tree, test the soil to check the nutrient level to make sure it needs to be fertilized. Otherwise, using a fertilizer could damage or kill your plant.
If more than one nutrient shows that it is low on the test, an all-purpose fertilizer is suggested. But if the test results show that the tree is low on just one nutrient, you should use a specific fertilizer that provides that nutrient.
The weeping limbs of the Louisa crabapple tree usually only need to be pruned if you want to shape it a certain way.
In that case, prune outside the growing season to not damage the tree or reduce its disease resistance.
Pests and Disease
Crabapple trees, like most other fruit trees, attract pests and are susceptible to a range of diseases.
Common pests that target crabapple trees include aphids, spider mites, Japanese beetles, and the apple tree borer. These pests can be rinsed off the leaves of the tree by using a sharp spray of water or, like with Japanese beetles, by picking them off by hand.
The Louisa crabapple tree is susceptible to diseases like fire blight, apple scab, and powdery mildew. The best treatment for these diseases is prevention.
Fire blight causes crabapple tree leaves to look like they have been burned. To prevent this disease, avoid fertilizing your tree with any fertilizers high in nitrogen because nitrogen encourages the bacteria that cause fire blight.
Apple scab and powdery mildew are fungal infections that can be treated using a fungicide spray or soap. To prevent these diseases, make sure the soil does not get soggy. If your area is experiencing heavy rains, a tarp can help keep the soil of your crabapple tree from receiving too much water.
Where to Buy the Louisa Crabapple Tree
You can find this beautiful crabapple tree online on Nature Hills. You can also find them in person if you go to your local orchard or nursery.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the fruit from a crabapple tree edible?
The fruit from a wide variety of crabapple trees is edible. The Louisa crabapple variety is too bitter and sour to eat, even in jelly or jam.
Do crabapple trees need to be pruned?
It depends on the type of tree it is. For instance, a weeping crabapple tree like the Louisa does not need to be pruned, but it can be if you want to shape it a certain way. Some other varieties may need to be pruned to encourage healthy growth.
What is the difference between apples and crabapples?
The main differences between apples and crabapples are size and flavor.
Crabapples are much smaller than regular apples, growing up to about two inches in diameter. They also taste bitter, whereas regular apples have a sweet flavor.
Another difference is the type of tree they grow on. Like the fruit, the crabapple tree is smaller than a regular apple tree. Crabapple trees are mostly ornamental, so they are not bred for their fruit like regular apples are.
A Vibrant Addition to Landscapes
If you are looking for a beautiful ornamental weeping tree for your landscape, the Louisa crabapple tree is the one for you! The beautiful pale pink flowers and weeping limbs cascading to the ground will liven up any lawn.
Would you like to learn more about different crabapple varieties and their uses? Check out the crabapple page on our website for more information!