Plant Encyclopedia

Ruby Tears™ Crabapple

Malus 'Bailears'

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Ruby Tears™ Crabapple

Discover More Information On Ruby Tears™ Crabapple

The red buds of Ruby Tears™ Crabapple open to fragrant pink flowers that completely engulf the cascading branches each spring. Attractive dark red fruit lasts into mid-winter, providing more seasonal interest. the naturally weeping branches add personality, structure, and texture to the landscape in addition to its beautiful blooms and fruit.

Plant Attributes

The Ruby Tears™ Crabapple is a hardy and resilient species of crabapple that is well-admired for its unique visual appeal and tolerance to various environmental conditions. A cultivar bred for its compact, weeping form, the tree typically grows to a height of 8-10 feet, and the same in spread. Its branches, densely packed with foliage, droop downwards creating a waterfall-like effect that makes it a standout addition to any garden.

The leaves of the Ruby Tears™ Crabapple are a vibrant green, with an elliptical shape, and toothed edges. They turn to a warm yellow during the fall, providing a lovely seasonal transition. In spring, the tree is in its full glory as it produces stunning, ruby red blossoms that add a burst of color to any landscape. These flowers also have a light fragrance, attracting various pollinators and enhancing the biodiversity of the garden.

In terms of fruit, this tree bears small, ruby red crabapples in late summer, which are persistent into winter, providing both visual interest and a food source for birds during the colder months. These fruits, although small and tart, can be used to make preserves and ciders.

The Ruby Tears™ Crabapple is also known for its resistance to common diseases that affect other species of crabapples, such as apple scab, making it a more manageable option for both seasoned and novice gardeners. It is a relatively easy tree to care for, requiring full sun exposure and well-drained soil.

Landscape Use

The Ruby Tears™ Crabapple has versatile landscaping uses due to its distinctive weeping form, vibrant seasonal color displays, and hardy nature.

  1. Specimen Planting: With its distinctive weeping form and brilliant seasonal colors, the Ruby Tears™ Crabapple makes an excellent specimen tree. Its unique form draws the eye, serving as a focal point in any landscape design. This can be especially effective in small gardens or yards where space is limited but visual impact is desired.
  2. Border Planting: Due to its compact size and attractive form, the Ruby Tears™ Crabapple can be used effectively in border plantings. It creates a dramatic edge or boundary and its weeping branches can provide a softening effect against fences or walls.
  3. Wildlife Garden: The Ruby Tears™ Crabapple's flowers attract pollinators in spring, while its fruits are a food source for birds during the colder months. This makes it an excellent addition to a wildlife garden, supporting local biodiversity.
  4. Mixed Planting: This tree can be effectively used in mixed plantings with other trees and shrubs. Its vibrant spring flowers and autumn foliage add color to mixed borders. Similarly, when planted with other flowering trees, it can help extend the blooming season of the garden.
  5. Container Gardening: Given its compact size, the Ruby Tears™ Crabapple can also be used in large container plantings. This makes it a good option for patios or terrace gardens, or in urban environments where soil space is limited.
  6. Public Spaces: Its resistance to common diseases and relatively easy care make the Ruby Tears™ Crabapple a good choice for public spaces such as parks, street plantings, and commercial landscapes.

In all these applications, the Ruby Tears™ Crabapple offers a unique aesthetic appeal while also contributing to a garden's overall health and biodiversity.

Planting & Care

Planting and caring for a Ruby Tears™ Crabapple requires attention to a few key factors to ensure the health and longevity of the tree.

Planting Instructions:

  1. Site Selection: Choose a site that gets full sun, as the Ruby Tears™ Crabapple requires at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. The site should also have well-drained soil. The tree can tolerate a variety of soil types, including sandy, loamy, and clay soils, as long as water does not pool.
  2. Planting Time: The best time to plant a Ruby Tears™ Crabapple is in late winter or early spring. However, container-grown trees can be planted at any time during the growing season.
  3. Planting Method: Dig a hole twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball. Remove the tree from the container, gently loosen the roots if they are densely packed, and place it in the hole, ensuring that the top of the root ball is level with the ground surface. Backfill the hole with soil, firming it gently around the base of the tree.

Care Instructions:

  1. Watering: Water the tree thoroughly after planting, and continue to water it regularly during the first year, especially during dry spells. Once established, the Ruby Tears™ Crabapple is relatively drought-tolerant, but it will benefit from watering during prolonged periods of drought.
  2. Mulching: Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the tree to help conserve soil moisture and suppress weeds. Be sure to leave a gap around the trunk to prevent rot.
  3. Fertilizing: The Ruby Tears™ Crabapple will benefit from a slow-release granular fertilizer in the spring, to provide nutrients for growth and flower production. Follow the product instructions for application rates.
  4. Pruning: Prune the Ruby Tears™ Crabapple in late winter or early spring, while the tree is still dormant. Remove any dead, diseased, or crossing branches, and prune to maintain the tree’s shape and size.
  5. Pest and Disease Management: While the Ruby Tears™ Crabapple has resistance to common diseases like apple scab, regular inspection for pests and diseases can help catch any issues early. If problems arise, consult with a local extension service or nursery for treatment recommendations.

Additional Information

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Ruby Tears™ Crabapple


Plant Features

  • Height: 8-10'
  • Width: 12-15'
  • Hardiness Zone: 4-7'
  • Heat Zone: 7
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Habit: Weeping
  • Flower Color: Pink
  • Foliage: Dark Red

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