The Last of the Crabapple Blossoms

Crabapple blossoms in the rain.

Today’s the first day of autumn here, and the weather is rainy and gloomy, and temperatures have dropped by more than 25 degrees from yesterday, and yet the crabapple tree right off from our front porch decided to send out a few optimistic blossoms this morning. These blossoms are even more errant than you might expect because the tree they’re on is now largely dead; it effectively passed on this spring, simply a victim of time, and we’ve made arrangements for it to be removed and replaced. So not only are these the last blossoms this tree will offer this year, but the last blossoms it will ever have. It was a good and lovely tree and I want to honor its last efforts at beauty and renewal, and share them with you. Here they are.

— JS

10 Comments on “The Last of the Crabapple Blossoms”

  1. Sad watching our beloved flora die before our eyes. My neighbor has one of those high end drones with a phenomenal camera and took aerial shots of my house and property from about 200’ elevation and it was much more apparent from above than from the ground how bad my three dogwoods are doing. I know one is nearly dead but I though the other two were fine, but from above, the one closest to the street out front looks more like the dead tree in back than it does the middle tree, which is hearty and healthy.

  2. It’s always sad to lose something so beautiful.
    Depending on how much you want to fiddle with the remains, it is possible to take a cutting and root it using rooting hormone or (somewhat more chancy) rooting a tender (nonwoody) cutting in a glass of water.

    Just as an aside, if you are using weed & feed lawn seed/turf builder, the “weeding” part of the mix is actually a variant on Agent Orange. The broadleaf defoliant is a slow death for trees. It won’t kill them right off the bat, at least not a mature tree but it does weaken them & sicken them, making them more susceptible to other diseases or more vulnerable to environmental stress like deep freezes, cold snaps and drought & heat. Straight up grass seed (or clover, if you want a really eco-friendly lawn) and some organic fertilizer usually keeps a lawn in pretty good shape. Usually the weed killer/preventative is literally overkill.

  3. I read “Crabapple blossom”, and all I could think of was TOM TERRIFIC’s “Crabby Appleton, Rotten to the Core!”

    Though tiny, it’s amazing how even dying trees will flower in those parts that are Not Dead Yet….

  4. Lovely. Thank you for sharing that. I’m sure there’s a metaphor for life in there someplace.

  5. Crab apples make lovely pies with blackberries (assuming you can still find blackberries that aren’t infested with Drosophila suzukii – no such luck where I live!). Trees have a habit of clinging to life in senescence, like the beautiful old ‘Stag’s-Head’ oak trees that can eek out life for a few more centuries!

  6. I’m imagining these blossoms as the tree’s way of saying “I’m not dead yet!” (as in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”)

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