• All
  • Articles
  • Videos
  • Plants
  • Recipes
  • Members

How to Plant Flowering Crabapple Trees

Comments ()  |   |  Text size: a A  |  Report Abuse  |  Print
close

Report This Article

How to Plant Flowering Crabapple Trees

Reason for flagging?

Comments

Submit

Share:    |  Email  |  Bookmark and Share

Overview

Flowering crabapple trees are the perfect landscape tree for gardeners with small yards. Another bonus: crabapple trees thrive in clay soils. Flowering crabapple trees are in the same family (malus) as apple trees. The difference between crabapple trees and regular apple trees is the size of the fruit. Crabapple trees have fruit between 1/4 inch and 2 inches in diameter. Apple trees have fruit over 2 inches in diameter. Flowering crabapple trees grow from 15 to 25 feet tall and are hardy in growing zones 3 through 9. Bloom time is early to mid-April.

Planting bare-root crabapple trees

Step 1

Plant bare-root crabapple trees in early spring after all threat of frost has passed through mid-spring.

Step 2

Plant flowering crabapple trees where they will receive 8 to 12 hours of direct sun daily. Choose soil that is well-drained but moisture retentive and has a pH of 5.0 to 7.5 with a pH of 5.0 to 6.5 being ideal.

Step 3

Dig a hole deep enough to place the crabapple tree at the same depth it was growing at in the nursery and wide enough that you can completely spread out the roots.

Step 4

Prune off broken or damaged roots making cuts 1 to 2 inches above the damage.

Step 5

Center the flowering crabapple in the hole spreading out the roots as you arrange the tree.

Step 6

Mix the soil removed from the planting hole with compost or well-rotted manure or peat moss or leaf humus until you have a 50/50 soil mix.

Step 7

Backfill the hole halfway with the 50/50 soil mix. Add 2 to 3 inches of water to settle the soil mix in the hole. Continue backfilling the hole with the soil mix until the hole is filled and the soil is level. Water with another 1 to 2 inches of water to further settle the soil.

Step 8

Mulch around the newly planted flowering crabapple tree with an organic mulch such as shredded bark or wood chips. Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer from 1 to 2 inches from the trunk to the dripline (the point where the tips of the branches reach).

Planting balled and burlaped crabapple trees

Step 1

Plant balled and burlaped (also called b&b) from early spring after all threat of frost has passed through mid-fall (at least three weeks before your first predicted hard frost).

Step 2

Plant balled or burlaped crabapple trees where they will receive 8 to 12 hours of direct sun daily. Choose soil that is well-drained but moisture retentive and has a pH of 5.0 to 7.5 with a pH of 5.0 to 6.5 being ideal.

Step 3

Dig a saucer shaped hole that is just deep enough to place the balled and burlaped flowering crabapple at the same depth it was growing and twice as wide as the root ball.

Step 4

Center the balled and burlaped crabapple tree in the hole. Remove all the strings that secure the burlap around the root ball. Spread the burlap out (it will decompose).

Step 5

Mix the soil removed from the planting hole with compost or well-rotted manure or peat moss or leaf humus until you have a 50/50 soil mix.

Step 6

Backfill the hole halfway with the 50/50 soil mix. Add 2 to 3 inches of water to settle the soil mix in the hole. Continue backfilling the hole with the soil mix until the hole is filled and the soil is level. Water with another 1 to 2 inches of water to further settle the soil.

Step 7

Mulch around the newly planted flowering crabapple tree with an organic mulch such as shredded bark or wood chips. Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer from 1 to 2 inches from the trunk to the dripline (the point where the tips of the branches reach).

Tips and Warnings

  • Planting crabapple trees too deeply will lead to poor performance and eventual death. Flowering crabapple trees that don't receive enough direct sunlight will not flower or produce fruit and will have a more open silhouette.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil pH test
  • Shovel
  • Pruning shears
  • Compost or well-rotted manure or peat moss or leaf humus
  • Organic mulch such as wood chips or shredded bark

References

  • Ohio State University Extension; Selection, Care and Use of Ornamental Crabapple
  • University of Maine Extension; Flowering Crabapples for Maine
  • University of Kentucky Extension; The Flowering Crabapple

Who Can Help

  • Colorado State University Extension; Flowering Crabapple Trees
  • North Dakota State University Extension; Transplanting Trees and Shrubs
Keywords: planting flowering crabapples, planting crabapple trees, crabapple trees, flowering crabapple trees