Flowering Crabapple 'Prairie Fire'


Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Malus (MAY-lus) (Info)
Cultivar: Prairie Fire
Additional cultivar information:(aka Prairiefire)
Hybridized by D. Dayton
Registered or introduced: 1982
» View all varieties of Apples


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Bloom Time:

Mid season flowering


Unknown - Tell us

Rootstock Vigor:

Unknown - Tell us

Bearing Habit:

Unknown - Tell us

Disease Resistance:

Resistant to Apple Scab

Resistant to Apple Powdery Mildew

Resistant to Cedar-Apple Rust

Resistant to Fireblight

Fruit Usage:


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

By grafting

By budding

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Walnut Creek, California

South Windsor, Connecticut

Rathdrum, Idaho

Bradley, Illinois

Carol Stream, Illinois

Spring Grove, Illinois

Dawson, Iowa

Fort Dodge, Iowa

Urbandale, Iowa

Andover, Kansas

Clermont, Kentucky

Georgetown, Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Alfred, Maine

Gobles, Michigan

Mattawan, Michigan

Stephenson, Michigan

Tecumseh, Michigan

Traverse City, Michigan

Whitmore Lake, Michigan

Kearney, Nebraska

Rutherford, New Jersey

Clyde, North Carolina

Bucyrus, Ohio

Enid, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (2 reports)

Albany, Oregon

Chiloquin, Oregon

West Grove, Pennsylvania

Tremonton, Utah

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Ames Lake, Washington

Stanwood, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 5, 2017, PixilationZone from West Grove, PA wrote:

I almost didn't buy Prairie Fire because the name made me think it would be an orangey red, which I'm generally not that fond of, at least not in my own garden. And you really can't rely on promo photos.

However, the sale price was so low that I decided to give it a try. As it turned out, the flowers are the purplish pink I hoped they'd be. And the leaves, especially in spring, have a maroon-purple tinge to them as well.

Ours has developed rather lopsided, but that's due to mistakes of mine; planting it in a spot where the sun tracks majorly to one side of it and doing a poor job of pruning it. Even so, the years when it has flowered well, I've been enchanted by its dark and magical aura.


On Jul 2, 2016, kavykeeper from Carol Stream, IL wrote:

I've had two Prairiefire crabapples. I dug out one that didn't have a nice shape to it. I've had the other for about 10 years. While it's never had issues with plant diseases, the leaves always are on the small side so it looks as though the tree isn't healthy. I've noticed that the ones I've seen in the Chicago area look the same. I prefer my Sargeant crabapple over this one and think the white flowers of the Sargeant is much prettier than the bright pink flowers of the Prairiefire.


On May 14, 2013, glfbama from Albany, OR wrote:

I have had this crabapple for close to ten years. It's done quite well with very little care or supplemental water in a fairly dry soil in full sun.

The tree is stunning in the spring, when it's a solid cloud of fuschia. (Unfortunately, I'm less fond of the color than I used to be.) I actually prefer the blue-green foliage with red veining to the flowers.

My favorite part of this tree is the tiny crabapples. They're abundant, and look like little dangly ear rings on the tree. The crabapples are small enough that they disappear when they're on the ground, and don't make a mess.

The birds don't touch them much until the weather turns frigid. Then the crabapples are gone in a day!

The main negative is that the tree su... read more


On May 13, 2013, heckabore from Walnut Creek, CA wrote:

I had three of these trees in my garden and had to remove one because it was so badly harmed by scale insects. A second tree gets scale every year no matter what I do, but it is still vigorous and large enough that it does OK. The third tree does not give me any problems. These are such beautiful trees, though, even out of bloom, that I cannot rate it a Negative. The dark reddish brown bark and deep green leaves are a wonderful contrast with the fuschia flowers and the deep, deep, deep, red crabapples. It's just a much fussier plant than anything else in my garden. Oh, and the deer like it, too.


On May 13, 2013, Plantnutoo from Manteo, NC wrote:

I have had Prairie Fire for fifteen years on Roanoke Island North Carolina. It has done well every year Seedlings of couse are not Prairie Fire. They have the same leaf color. I have not tried growing any to see how they behave. I have no other crabapple, so they should be selfs.

If anyone has other crabs that are as tough, you could possibly have good seedlings


On May 13, 2013, GrinnellinVT from Middlebury, VT wrote:

When we lived in central Wisconsin (54971), we had a garden bed adjacent to our house that apparently hosted verticilium wilt. After a Nanking cherry tree and a redbud tree both died there, we planted the Prairie Fire crabapple. It has been thriving for 10+ years.


On May 13, 2013, MDcedarleaf from Washington Grove, MD wrote:

Prairiefire is one of my all-time favorite trees. I first planted it in a city-sized front yard in Boston, where I knew it will just squeak under power lines at maturity, but it is an elegant and rewarding planting at any age. Purple-tinged, beautifully lenticilled bark, dark red fruit, a lovely habit, fast growing and not overly prone to breakage...not to mention the gorgeous cloud of blooms in Spring. It seems to bear more heavily every other year. Wonderful tree - choose it over the weaker pears and more common (though admittedly gorgeous) cherries; you won't regret it.


On Jan 21, 2013, zepher13 from Thornton, CO wrote:

I have 3 of these planted on the west side of my property on the northeastern plains/edge of foothills of Rocky Mountains in Colorado. They have survived and thrived very well and have beautifully made interest and food for birds, bees, and butterflies


On Jan 21, 2013, jazzy1okc from Oklahoma City, OK wrote:

Having worked for several years in a nursery that sells this variety, and having watched other varieties succumb to every nasty disease that crab apple trees are heir to, I can assure you that, in OKC, this is the most disease resistant variety I have ever seen. The all season interest makes it just about perfect.


On Oct 10, 2011, coppelia from Redmond, WA wrote:

Beautiful tree for the Pacific Northwest and very resistant to disease. The mild wet winters and spring here encourage black spot and other related problems for many varieties, but this one comes through like a champ!


On Sep 21, 2010, jjh422d from South Windsor, CT (Zone 6a) wrote:

I first saw this tree in a gardening magazine that was featuring some of the finer crabapples available. I was fortunate to find one at a local nursery near the end of that summer a few years ago. The tree looked tired from sitting in a pot all season, but was on sale, so I took a chance.

And boy was it worth it. The tree is stunningly beautiful when in flower and very attractive in all 4 seasons. The small cranberry colored crabapples stay on the tree well into the winter and provide food for the birds.

In my Connecticut yard, the tree has been pest free and maintenance free.


On Aug 10, 2008, ospreyhome from Chiloquin, OR wrote:

I live in zone 4/5 and am finding this is a somewhat slower grower than some other trees, however, it is thriving considering our short growing season. I believe it is considered a wonderful tree not only because it has four seasons of interest but has very good to excellent disease resistance to all major apple diseases. There are other beautiful crabapples but they have poor disease resistance.


On Jul 13, 2007, Meig from Far Northwest 'burbs, IL (Zone 4b) wrote:

I don't see why this cultivar is supposed to be so fantastic. It is pretty in the spring but I think 'Profusion' is much more beautiful.