We are thinking about using Robinson crabapples at the entrance to our subdivision to replace diseased cherry trees (2 lines of 6 trees in each line). We are concerned and have been advised against using cherry trees again (persistent fungal disease). The Robinson crabapple seems like a very nice tree/choice, however residents are concerned about the potential mess from falling fruit. We realize the fruit is smaller than other crabapples and have heard doesn't readily fall to the ground. Some branches would overhang the road. Is the mess they would leave on an entry drive a legitimate concern to take this tree out of consideration?
The fruit of a Robinson is about 3/8", which is small as these go. Since it tends to hang on the tree for a while, and since it ripens in mid-summer, birds and wildlife will likely eat it before it ever hits the ground. But, even so, because of the size it should not make a terrible mess like one of the large-fruited ones could. We vote for the tree for its excellent ornamental and wildlife value, but of course we don't have a vote.
It also has good disease resistance, a must.
Thank you. You kind of do have a vote :) ... and it's pretty much what the arborist we have been working with said.