Crabapple Tree

The crabapple tree outside the kitchen window has been catching my attention recently.

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It snowed on Halloween, but the next day the sun came out and I love the blue sky and fluffy clouds above the snow outlined crabapple tree.  On the left the chinquapin oak tree was showing its fall colors.

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Backing up, here is the view from the kitchen window.

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The dark-eyed juncos have arrived, and are winter residents in our neighborhood.

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Male house finch

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The crabapples probably get tastier after a freeze or two.  Though they probably are not terrific tasting since usually quite a few little apples persist on the branches over the winter.

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The crabapples are at various stages of ripeness.  The tree is full of crabapples this year and we hardly had any last year.

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Profusion crabapple tree this past spring.  The weather must have been just right to get the flowers pollinated and set into little apples.

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The squirrels have come a number of times for a snack.

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Golden-crowned kinglet migrating through Chicagoland.  It is always fun to look out the kitchen window and see what birds are stopping by.

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The bark of the tree does not look very healthy to me.  Does this mean the tree is dying?  The leaves get diseased and fall off early each year.  I have not diagnosed the problem yet.  We did have robins successfully nest in this tree early in the year though, when there were still leaves.

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As a side note, I saw a black swallowtail caterpillar in the fennel on November fifth, the week after the snow.  We are in cleanup mode these days and have started a big leaf and grass compost pile.  I am leaving more plants standing in place this year to provide habitat for wintering insects and other critters that are good bird food.  Insects are the foundation of the food chain, right?

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Dan and I had a fantastic walk in the woods this morning, starting at the Wolf Road Woods trail in the Palos Forest Preserve.

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At Tomahawk Slough we saw a very fluffed up great blue heron.  The temperature was below freezing last night and thin ice covered parts of the slough.

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This shot was from our walk last week at the Willow Springs Forest Preserve.  It is time to pull out the cozy jackets, wooly scarves and mittens, and warm boots and enjoy cold weather hiking.

12 thoughts on “Crabapple Tree

  1. Lovely photos! The chubby squirrel gave me a chuckle.
    Your tree could have normally exfoliating bark, possibly a northern pecan? Do you know what kind it is? A photo of the leaves or the whole tree?

  2. Lovely to see some birds that we don’t have in the UK. We haven’t had snow yet. Last winter we had about one day of snow – early February – which ground the whole country to a halt. Great photos. Thank you.

  3. How cool to have your crabapple flocked in snow with such a beautiful blue sky for a background. I have next to no berry plants for the fall and might have to rethink that. I’d plant a crabapple, but they all seem to lose their leaves early and I’m not sure I’d like that.

    1. My crabapple started out well, but now looses its leaves early. I try to investigate a little about nearby plants that host apple rust but can’t control the neighbors’ yards. And I remove the diseased leaves if possible. Most trees and shrubs have good and bad sides and I guess you just have to make your best guess to find something that works in your yard.

  4. Great shots of the birds enjoying the crabapple. I had a similar experience with the Donald Wyman crab this year- tons of fruit but it hangs on for a long time. Mostly I see it eaten by robins and squirrels.

    1. Yes, the squirrels are continuing to work on the crabapples. I think they are a fruit of last choice for many birds, but my crabapples are definitely more eaten than some in the neighborhood. Some really big crabapples down the street are eaten by the deer, I think, and others are never touched by the wildlife. They are for human appreciation only, for those who like to look at the red berries in winter.

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