Crabapple (Malus Gladiator) 'Gladiator'
Gladiator™ Crabapple is an excellent ornamental tree for compact spaces or other size restrictions such as power lines. It's narrowly upright and columnar growth habit is adorned with a profusion of stunning, bright pink flowers in mid-spring followed by small reddish-purple fruit. Dark and glossy bronze-purple leaves remain lush all season long and are highly disease resistant. The pointy leaves transition to yellow as the autumn months set in and the showy purple pomes persist into late fall.
Growing to an ideal height of 20 feet tall and 9 feet wide, 'Gladiator' is extremely cold hardy at USDA Hardiness zone 2-8. Highly adaptable to soil type or pH, but requires full sun and well-drained soil without standing water. After planting, and until established, this tree should be irrigated consistently to keep the soil conditions average to moist. Like most crabapples, occasional pruning and maintenance is required. Suckers should be removed if they develop in summer, but pruning should be done in late winter after the threat of extreme cold has passed to remove damaged, diseased, or misplaced growth. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.