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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI invites public to visit disease-resistant crab apples May 11 - 16

KINGSTON, R.I. -- May 10, 1999 -- The University of Rhode Island will hold an open orchard, instead of an open house, to show off its more than 50 varieties of flowering crab apple trees.

The orchard will be open from Tuesday, May 11 through Friday, May 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, May 15 and 16 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Landscape architects, nurserymen and the general public are welcomed.

The URI trees aren,t just any old crab apples. All have been selected to be resistant to Apple Scab, a common fungus known to defoliate crab apple trees by mid-summer.

The URI trees also have another trait guaranteed to keep homeowners, shoes and vocabulary clean"the crab apples don,t drop their fruit.

"These crab apple trees are trees for all seasons. They,re pretty when they blossom in spring, they have colorful fruit in the summer, and when its leaves change in the fall so does its fruit color, says Dr. Larry Englander, URI associate professor of plant pathology, who oversees the test site. Most of the trees were planted around 1983 by the late Lester Nichols, a retired URI plant pathologist. There are also some younger trees that are being tested.

The orchard, located at URI's East Farm, has several hundred trees with at least three of each variety. All trees are labeled.

The trees come in different sizes and shapes. "We have pillar, pyramid, lollipop, spreading, weeping, and shrub-like varieties, just to name a few. We,ve got em all, says Englander.

Tours of the field are self-guided. Visitors can pick up brochures in the black mailbox at the entrance to the orchard.

The trees are not for sale. "The University presents these crab apples and their disease-ratings for individuals to see and evaluate. They are clean, attractive, and not prone to diseases that so often strip other varieties of their beauty, says Englander. "People can see what they like, jot down the name, and visit their local garden center to purchase one.

Anyone with questions about crab apple trees, can call Englander at 874-2933 or e-mail him at

DIRECTIONS: Take Route 1 South to Route 138 West. Take left onto Route 108 (at stop light). Go 1/2 mile to URI's East Farm. Turn left and follow signs.

For More Information: Jan Sawyer, 874-2116

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Copyright 1999
University of Rhode Island

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