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Facts and Steps to Plant and Care for a Flowering Crabapple

Crabapple trees can add to the aesthetic beauty of your garden especially in springtime when it blossoms into various shades of pink, red and white. The canopy of these wild apple trees produce fruits of varying colors including red, orange, maroon and yellow. Crabapple trees can be used for landscaping purposes and will add to the scenic beauty of lawns.

Fully grown crabapple trees can be as tall as 25 feet. There are some dwarf varieties available too that don’t exceed the length of 25 feet. If you’re short on outdoor space, the dwarf variety is your best bet. However, when you are shopping for crabapple trees, make sure you ask for disease resistant species because crabapple trees are vulnerable to a lot of the same diseases that apple trees are affected by.


Before you take any practical steps, you need to select a location for the tree. Crabapple trees can grow in ample sunlight as well as in shaded areas. However, if you are planting the tree for its ornamental beauty, it’s best you know that if they’re grown in shaded areas, they will have an open canopy and will also produce lesser fruits as well as flowers. Crabapple trees that receive ample sunlight have a denser growth. It’s best if you plant these trees in rich soil.

If you’re using a bare root tree, the best time to move it into the ground is early spring. However, if you’re dealing with wrapped trees, you can plant them in spring, summer and fall season too. One of the most common mistakes people make when planting a container-grown crabapple tree is planting deeper than it was planted in the container. For adequate growth, make sure you plant the tree at the same depth as it was in the container so that the roots can adapt properly.

Post plantation care

Crabapple trees need about 1 inch of water every week during their first year. You need to make sure you’re watering the tree regularly during the first year because the tree is establishing itself during this time period and once it has, you don’t have to be worried about watering it. Established crabapple trees don’t require irrigation except for drought conditions. Crabapple trees are pretty tough and usually don’t require fertilizing the soil if you have planted the tree in good soil. Newly planted crabapple trees don’t even need fertilizing until the next spring. The crabapple tree is pretty low maintenance.

Unless the crabapple disease gets fungal infections, you don’t have to prune them either. If you do decide to prune, don’t do it after June because that will significantly reduce next year’s flowering. Watch out for rots and diseases. During the summer, your crabapple tree can get apple scab which is one of the most common fungal diseases for apple tree varieties. Infected trees have dark, oily spots on their leaves before they break off. Remove all the affected branches and twigs as soon as you notice them. You can also use fungicides.