Crab Apple Trees (Malus) are valued as a spring flowering ornamental tree, and with some varieties, for the crab apple fruit that is used widely in jams and jellies as well as for apple cider.
Both white and pink flowering varieties are available. They make a useful spreading small shade tree and many have good autumn colour as well.
Crab apples are a tough tree that cope well with a range of conditions and once established require little care or pruning.
Dwarf crab apple cultivars that will reach a maximum or around 3m are also available. For flowers (but not much fruit).
Malus floribunda or ‘Showy Crabapple’ is one of the best white flowering varieties (see picture right). Reaching around 5 – 6m depending on conditions.
Malus hupehensis is one of the better pink flowering crabapples. Malus x atrosanguinea is a NZ cultivar and one of the best for fruit, along with the John Downie Crabapple (Malus John Downie) which will reach around 8m depending on the rootstock it is grown on.
New cultivars such as ‘Royal raindrops’ woth its very attractive pink flowers, and ‘Sugar Thyme’ with new pink buds opening to white flowers are well worth looking for.
Crab Apple Tree varieties
- Malus ioensis ‘Plena’ or Bechtels Flowering Crabapple is a favorite white to pink flowering cultivar.
- Malus ioensis ‘Rubra’ has pink to red flowers.
- Malus floribunda or Japanese Crabapple is very popular with masses of white flowers in spring.
- Malus floribunda ‘Pendula’is the Weeping Japanese Crabapple usually grafted as a standard.
- Malus spectabilis ‘Plena’ has large attractive ‘double’ flowers.
- Malus baccata ( Mandshurica Siberian Crabapple ) is another worth looking for.
- Malus Trilobata is probably the best upright crab apple with deeply lobed foliage and large white flowers. This one will reach around 5 – 7m and is excellent as a landscaping variety, could be used to line a driveway.
- Malus tschonoskii is another upright form.
- Choose a sunny position.
- A well drained soil is best.
- Dig over and add some well rotted compost. Do not dig down into heavy clay soils.
- Ensure drainage is good.
- Water in well after planting with a liquid seaweed fertiliser.
- Mulch to maintain a cool root run.
- Water through the first summers.
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Crab Apple Trees are available from the following nurseries and growers.
Mail order fruit tree nursery with over 200 temperate climate fruit trees.
Heritage varieties and dwarf fruit trees. Apple Trees, Stone Fruit, Nut Trees and Berry Fruit.
Field grown tree nursery, providing a full planning & implementation service, over 90 species and 25 years experience. Specialising in Maples, Oaks, Ash, Pistachia, Dogwood, Birch, Pear, Honey locust, Plane Elm and many more!
Online discount Tree & Plant nursery - selling direct to public at wholesale prices. Growers of quality advanced & semi advanced ornamental trees & plants. Personally & professionally delivered to your door. Order online or call
55 McDougal Rd Neerim South Victoria 3831 PH: (03) 56281507
Advanced ornamental trees and garden designs and concept plans. Direct to your property combined with specialist knowledge and outstanding service.
Carey Gully, Adelaide Hills.
Family run business selling advanced ornamental trees including 9 varieties of Crepe Myrtle, Maple, Birch, Ash, Ginko, Crab Apple, Ornamental Plum, Weeping Cherry, Oak & Chinese Tallow. Wholesale prices to the public.