crabapple tree

10 Must Have Crabapple Tree Varieties for Your Garden – How to Plant Them

The crabapple tree is one of the most popular types of trees out there and with good reason. Not exactly an apple tree, the crabapple tree brings a lovely visual to the garden no matter the season. Moreover, it comes in a wide range of varieties that are bound to satisfy every taste and desire. From its gorgeous flowers to its breathtaking foliage and glorious fruits, the crabapple is a real jewel of any landscape. Today, we’re going to present 10 crabapple tree varieties you should consider. Then, we’ll tell you the basics of how to plant this type of tree.

10 Crabapple Tree Varieties You Should Plant in Your Garden

1. Adirondack

One of the most interesting features of the Adirondack crabapple variety is that its flowers bloom an almost pure white, even though the buds are a deep pink shade. Not only that, but the fruits that come out of the white flowers are orange-red. As you can see, there’s a myriad of colors that you can enjoy if you plant this tree in your garden. The leaves of this tree variety are spectacular as well, especially in fall, when they turn mottled green and yellow. If you don’t have a lot of space in your garden and you want to fit a tree in a narrow space, the Adirondack variety is perfect for the job, since it grows quite upright.

2. Brandywine

Another exquisite crabapple tree variety, the Brandywine tree is known for its rosy-pink blooms. The reason the blooms are so popular is that they look like tiny roses. Furthermore, they turn into yellow-green fruits that are edible. You can use them to make delicious jelly. The foliage turns orange and yellow in fall, and the tree has a rounded shape. As such, it isn’t too tall, which is something you should consider when deciding on the perfect spot for it.

3. Cardinal

As you might have been able to tell already, one of the main attractions of all crabapple tree varieties is their blooms. The Cardinal variety makes no exception. It blooms with rosy-red flowers, which are complimented by the purple-red foliage. In fall, the foliage turns mottled red and orange, and the blooms turn into deep red fruits. In fact, the name of this variety comes from the appearance of its fruits. The Cardinal crabapple tree grows both tall and wide, so it will take up some space in your garden.

4. Cinderella

As this fairytale name suggests, the Cinderella tree sports delicate white blooms. The blooms grow in rich clusters, giving out the impression of an extremely dense tree. The golden yellow color of the fruits and the medium green shade of the foliage complement the overall appearance of the tree. In fall, the leaves turn yellow, providing some much-desired color to any garden. Another thing we should mention is that the Cinderella variety is rather small, which means you can grow it pretty much anywhere, even in containers.

5. Ellen Gerhart

Another crabapple variety that delights with its contrasts is the Ellen Gerhart one. The buds are deep pink, while the flowers are pale pink. Moreover, they can be both single and semidouble. The fruits are bright red and they have a rusty scar opposite the fruit stem. This scar distinguishes the tree from other crabapple varieties and it provides it with some extra charm. The shape of the tree is also interesting since the branches tend to grow in a V-shape.

6. Indian Magic

What you’ll probably notice first when you look at the Indian Magic Crabapple tree variety are its fruits. They’re bright red and they grow in rich clusters, covering a large part of the tree. At the end of fall, they turn red-orange and become food for birds. The color of the foliage in fall is red-orange as well, which makes the tree impossible to miss. The foliage has an impressive ability to change colors, becoming bright green in summer and purplish red in spring. The tree has a rounded shape and sports deep pink blooms.

7. Lancelot

Are you looking for a fragrant crabapple tree variety? Then Lancelot might be the perfect choice for you. Not only do its blooms smell fantastic, but they also look amazing. They’re pure white and they grow in large clusters, turning into golden fruits. The typically green leaves become gold in fall, complementing the color of the fruits. This is another crabapple variety that is quite small, so you don’t have to worry about finding a large space for it.

8. Madonna

Another variety with pure white flowers, Madonna is much more than that. First of all, the blooms are semi-double, which gives out the impression of richness. Second, they last for a very long time, allowing you to enjoy their beauty and grace. The charm of the blooms is replaced by the charm of the yellow-orange fall foliage. The fruits are somewhat of an attraction as well, because they’re gold, but they also contain red splashes of color. The tree grows upright, so it won’t take up a lot of space.

9. Pink Princess

More of a shrub or a dwarf tree than an actual tree, the Pink Princess variety is nonetheless attractive. It sports rose-pink blooms and purple foliage, which is not a common combination among the existent crabapple varieties. In summer, the foliage becomes bronze-green, while in fall, it turns yellow. The fruits have an interesting color as well, more precisely dark red. Since this tree is so small, you can easily grow it in a container and decorate your garden with it.

10. Profusion

The last crabapple tree variety we want to mention in today’s guide is the Profusion one. The name of this one comes from the countless magenta pink flowers that it can grow. This is not the only thing that makes it so attractive for people who are looking for a tree to spruce up the look of their garden landscape. Profusion also has purple foliage, which becomes bronzy green in summer and mottled orange, green, and yellow in fall. The fruits are ruby red and the tree has a rounded shape that takes up some space.

How to Plant a Crabapple Tree

Find the Perfect Location

The perfect location can ensure a gorgeous crabapple tree. As adaptable as the tree normally is, you should still make sure you provide it with loam type soil. The soil must also drain well, be slightly acidic, and moist. The crabapple tree can tolerate droughts more than it can tolerate excessive moisture, but make sure it doesn’t have to go through either of those things. If you plant it in an area with too much shade, it won’t develop properly. It needs full sun exposure if you want it to grow flowers and fruit.

Plant It

In order to grow a crabapple tree in your garden, you have to buy one in a container and transplant it after the last frost of the spring, up until the ground starts freezing again. Basically, you get to choose when you want to plant it. You’ll have to dig a hole shaped like a saucer and two times wider that the diameter of the root ball of the tree. Make sure that when you remove the tree from the container and place it in the hole, you’re extremely careful. You don’t want to end up damaging the roots.

Once you’ve placed the tree in the hole, cover the rest of it with soil mixed with organic matter, and then water around it to help it settle. Some mulch around the tree would be beneficial as well since it prevents water loss.

Maintain It

In terms of maintenance, the things that should concern you are watering, fertilizing, pruning, and disease control. When the tree is young, you’ll have to provide it with an inch of water each week. After a year, if the tree is well established, you won’t really need to water it any longer, except during droughts.

When it comes to fertilization, you’ll be happy to know that most crabapple trees don’t require that much fertilizer. As long as you plant them in fertile soil and add organic matter to them, they need little fertilization. If you notice the leaves growing too small or the blooms too few, this could be a sign you need to add some fertilizer to your trees.

Pruning is also not something that should concern you. As long as you remember to remove diseased, dead, crossing, and damaged branches, as well as suckers and water sprouts, your trees will develop just fine. Remember that pruning is best done in early June.

Some crabapple tree varieties can be affected by diseases such as apple scab, frog-eye leaf spot, or fireblight. Removing infected branches and looking for the best treatment for these diseases can help you protect your trees.

Summing Everything Up

We hope today’s guide on some of the best crabapple tree varieties you can grow in your garden has not only provided you with inspiration for your own garden but also taught you how to plant and take care of this type of tree. If you’re on the lookout for some trees to brighten your landscape, don’t hesitate to try some crabapple varieties.

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Bonnie Enos

I spend my time in my garden trying to create the greatest outdoor space possible. My garden is my happy place and where you will always find me on a nice day. I take my experience and share it here for you to read!

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