Golden Raindrops Flowering Crab
Malus transitoria 'Schmidtcutleaf'The Golden Raindrops is probably my favorite flowering crab. It is considered a clean tree with excellent disease and insect resistance. The flower emerges from a pink bud to a pure white flower, completely covering the tree relatively late in the season. The fruit is tiny and bright yellow. It is quite a spectacle, especially in close quarters. The leaves are probably the most unusual, with the early shoot leaves deeply cut or lobed, almost hawthorn-like, thus the cultivar name. Fall color is mostly yellow with occasional edges of red, if you look close. In good years in the Pacific Northwest, some trees have leaves with a full purple hue. The younger trunk bark is a shiny orange-brown, clean and smooth.
Arborists should like this tree for its balanced, open, branching, and predictable form when grown from a tall whip in a skilled nursery. Some crabs can be erratic and dense, but not so with the Golden Raindrops, with its straight limbs and open structure. Give it room to grow though. Although listed as a tree with upright form, the tree will probably become more round with age. For street tree use, require limbs starting at 5' or more and do not place them near a drive lane. Wider planting strips and corner accent peninsulas would be ideal.
Check your local State Research and Extension office for results of growing trials they may have conducted. Golden Raindrops was rated one of the best crabs for scab resistance here in the Skagit Valley, Mount Vernon, Washington. Please let me know your experience with this tree.