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Historic, Archive Document 

Do not assume content reflects current 
scientific knowledge, policies, or practices. 

ates Department of Agriculture 

-Tvation Service 
Program Aid Number 1338 


r'-\- . 


'Midwesf Manchurian crabapple 

'Midwest' Manchurian crabapple is an excellent tree for 
windbreak, wildlife habitat, and recreational plantings. It is 
suitable for single-row field windbreaks where a medium- 
height tree is desired and width is not a factor. It is also 
suitable for farmstead windbreaks when planted between 
the central and outside rows of multiple-row plantings. 

Wildlife, especially some songbirds and game bird species, 
waxwings, and squirrels, consume the small fruit readily. In 
addition, the tree provides good nesting and ground cover. 
It provides browse for rabbit and deer. Since the fruit dries 
('raisins') on the trees, a winter supply of food is available. 


Midwest Manchurian crabapple, Malus baccata (L.) Borkh. 
var. mandshurica (Maxim.) Schneid, is a moderately rapid 
growing medium-size tree. It is densely branched and oval 
shaped. This tree is extremely winter hardy and disease 
resistant, making it well suited to the harsh climatic 
extremes of the upper Midwest and Great Plains. 

Midwest may reach a height of 20 feet in 16 years. The 
dense and rounded growth form is very desirable. When 

'Midwest' crabapple provides good nesting, ground cover, and tood 
for wildlife. 

planted in single-row windbreaks and given sufficient 
growing room, it maintains its branches close to the ground. 
It is one of the earliest species to leaf out in the spring and 
is fully leafed before blooming. The blossoms are snowy 
white. Fruit size ranges from 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter. 
Young trees will grow rapidly at first, as much as 2 feet a 
year, but the growth rate slows in 7 or 8 years. The leaves 
are alternate, simple, ovate to oval, finely serrated to 
irregularly toothed or lobed, and usually dark or olive green 
above and paler green below. The bark is ridged to scaley 
and dark gray or reddish gray. 

Midwest has proved to be insect and disease resistant. 
Occasionally, fire blight will affect a few leaves, but the 
infection has never been severe. This tree cannot tolerate 
chemical sprays, and heavy drift may cause stunting or 
deformed trees. 

The Bismarck Plant Materials Center released Midwest in 
April 1973 after evaluating it in field plantings beginning in 
1954 when the Center received seed from the Canada 
Department of Agriculture in Morden, Manitoba. The tree 
performed well in these tests under accession number PM- 
ND-282. The seed was originally collected from Echo, 
Manchuria by A. F. Woeikoff in the early 1920's. 


Midwest is easy to grow from seed and produces vigorous 
seedlings. Field plantings are also easy to establish. Spacing 
should be from 6 to 10 feet for windbreaks. Planting should 
be done in the spring when moisture conditions are best. 
Weeds should be controlled the first few years of 
establishment, preferably by cultivation. Irrigation may be 
needed to ensure early survival on drier sites. If animal 
populations are high, the trees should be protected or the 
deer and rabbits should be controlled until the trees are 
large enough to withstand the browse. 


The propagation of Midwest is from open-pollinated seed 
because large quantities are needed for farm and ranch 
plantings. Commercial production will be the same in most 
cases. The seed is picked and cleaned in the fall and stored 
until 30 days before planting. It is then mixed with damp, 
fine sand and kept at temperatures of 34 to 36 °F. A close 
watch must be maintained the last few days to determine 

'Midwest' crabapple can be used in farmstead windbreal<s. 

when it breaks dormancy. Seed is then planted about 1/2 
inch deep in beds or rows and mulched lightly, and the 
surface is kept moist until seed emerges. The planting stock 
used should be two-year-old seedlings that are not in 
containers. The plants should be 12- to 24-inches high 
before they are transplanted. 


Seed is available from the United States Department of 
Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service (SCS), Plant Materials 
Center, P.O. Box 1458, Bismarck, North Dakota, 58502. 
Breeder seed and foundation stock of Midwest Manchurian 
crabapple are maintained there. Certified seed (selected 
class) is available from growers approved by the State 
Certified Seed Departments. Standards for all classes of seed 
are published in the North Dakota Tree and Shrub 
Certification Standards. 

For more information on where you can buy Midwest 
Manchurian crabapple and how to use and plant it, contact 
your local SCS office listed in your telephone directory 

under United States Government, Department of 
Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 


Midwest has a wide range of adaptability from Wisconsin to 
Montana and south to Kansas and Indiana (see the 
adaptation map); it has not been adequately tested beyond 
this area. Survival is good on well-drained soils. The tree is 
drought tolerant, but better adapted to deep, well-drained, 
loam soils that have good to excellent weed control. It is 
very winter hardy, often surviving -40°F temperatures 
with no dieback. 

All programs and services of the U.S Department of 
Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, are offered on a 
nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, 
national origin, religion, sex, age, marital status, or 

Reviewed and Approved for Reprinting April 1989 

May 1984