A friend recently mentioned that part of his tree was blooming in a different color from the tree he purchased.
So what’s up with that? Freak of nature, evolution, or a new discovery perhaps??
Chances are, his case is similar to the photos shared here, of a grafted crabapple tree we planted decades ago.
The desirable and intended tree was a red crabapple, but most of the tree is now a faster growing, white crabapple. The explanation is actually rather simple.
The parts from two different trees are often grafted together, providing the best characteristics of each. In the case of our red-turned-white crabapple, the roots of a white tree were used, while the more desirable red part of the tree was grafted on top of that pink ‘rootstock.’
Unfortunately, sprouts from the rootstock were allowed to grow unimpeded, and have now taken over. At this late stage it would be difficult to remove the white ‘invader’ from the aboveground space, since it has become so large. Similar ‘innocent looking’ sprouts in the photo below:
This same situation is commonly seen in Weeping Cherry trees. The key is to remove any branches that look different, before they get too large.