An open meadow is transformed when the crabapples bloom.
Malus ‘Prairifire’ (Crabapple) is a medium-sized flowering landscape tree with a rounded head for full sun, preferring moderately wet soil. (The trees in these photos are planted along the edge of a natural streambed running through a wide open meadow.) ‘Prairifire’ is one of the best crabapple trees for the southeast, resisting many of the usual problems that Malus is known for. The April flowers are followed by masses of small crabapple fruits that persist into fall, a favorite fruit for birds.
Crabapples are effective in mass plantings, but because they are considered smaller landscape trees, they are also a good choice for patio trees, or specimens for the front yard.
A chart from NCSU showing the best crabapple trees for the landscape can be found here.