gardening tips

Beauty and Benefits of Crabapple Trees

Crabapples are a great way to add a burst of colour to your yard.

The flowers of the crabapple emerge in June and are ornate and very abundant. They range in colour from white, through pink, to intense purple/burgundy, depending on the variety.

But there is more to this hardy tree than its showy flowers!

The blossoms and fruit provide food for pollinators, birds and other wildlife. Crabapples are also excellent pollinators for the other apple trees in an orchard.

Crabapple varieties grow to between 10 to 25 feet tall and thrive in full sun. They’re resistant to drought and many diseases. They’re generally low maintenance once established—just prune any damaged branches in the early spring.

If you plan to make crabapple jelly, look for varieties with apples that are high in pectin.


Types of Crabapple Trees

Dolgo’s blooms are white against green leaves. This extremely hardy tree, originally native to Siberia, is considered the best for crabapple jellies – some say its apples have been preferred for the last 200 years. A Dolgo crabapple will grow up and out equally, reaching up to 25 feet tall and wide.

Prariefire has beautiful, fragrant, dark pink flowers in spring. Its leaves emerge dark burgundy and turn green with purplish red in summer. Fall foliage is orange and its apples are dark purple. Prariefire tends to grow to be as tall as it is wide, around 15 to 20 feet.

Profusion’s shiny green leaves complement its pink flowers during blooming season. The apples are bright red and can be used to make crabapple jelly. The Profusion’s fall foliage is orange. The tree will grow wider than it does tall, with a spread of up to 30 feet across and peaking in height at around 20 feet.

Red Jade’s branches flow like a waterfall in a classing “weeping” growth pattern and are filled with white blooms. The leaves are a glossy jade green, which turn yellow in the fall. Its bright red fruit is edible by birds and can be made into jelly. Growth can peak at 15 feet tall and 20 feet wide.

Thunderchild’s stunning dusty-rose-coloured blossoms are fragrant and emerge even before its deep purple leaves. Thunderchild’s ruby red fruits are attractive to birds and its leaves will turn dark red in fall. A Thunderchild crabapple will grow tall and slim, up to 20 feet tall and widening to around 15 feet across.



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