How to Plant a Siberian Crabtree


The Siberian crabtree (Malus baccata) is also known as the Siberian crabapple tree. It is a deciduous growing tree that grows to form a globe-shaped canopy between 20- and 50-feet tall. It is known for its fragrant, spring-blooming, 1 1/2-inch wide flowers that are pink-colored when in bud and turn white when in full bloom. The flowers are followed by small 1/4- to 1/3-inch-wide, tart flavored fruit that are used in making jams and jellies. When planting a Siberian crabtree, keep it at least 15 to 20 feet away from walkways, driveways or ponds since the fruit can create a litter problem.

Step 1

Decide where you want to plant the Siberian crabtree. For best growth, choose a location that will provide the maximum amount of sunlight every day.

Step 2

Loosen a 2-foot square section of soil in the planting area using a spade, a pick or a garden fork. The soil should be well-worked and loosened to a depth of between 12 and 14 inches.

Step 3

Measure out approximately 1 cubic foot of sphagnum peat moss or aged steer manure if the soil is sandy or light. Measure out 1 cubic foot of perlite, coarse sand or dehydrated compost if the soil has less than ideal drainage. Mix the amendment into the soil thoroughly using a fork or a spade.

Step 4

Dig a planting hole for the Siberian crabtree that is approximately two times wider than the growing container, if planting a container grown crabtree. If you are planting a bare-root crabtree, the planting hole should three times the diameter of the root system and approximately its same depth.

Step 5

Water the crabtree throughly, if you are planting a container grown crabtree. If you are planting a bare-root crabtree, set the root system into a bucket that contains about 2 to 3 inches of water. This will help plump up its roots in case they are dried out.

Step 6

Cut along the sides of the container, starting at the rim, or at a drain hole. Do this around the entire perimeter of the container until you can extract the crabtree from its container.

Step 7

Place the crabtree into the planting hole. For best growth, plant the tree with the bud union set about 1 inch above the surrounding top soil. The bud union is usually indicated by a slight bulge at the base of the trunk where it meets the root system.

Step 8

Scoop soil into the planting hole until it is about half-full. Pack the soil down around the root system using your hands or a trowel. Finish filling the hole with soil, packing it down as you proceed. Water the crabtree thoroughly, letting the water run slowly so it can reach the root system.

Things You'll Need

  • Siberian crabtree
  • Shovel
  • Soil amendment
  • Snips
  • Bucket


  • North Dakota State University: Growing Siberian Crabapples
  • The University of Florida: Siberian Crabapple
Keywords: siberian crabtree planting, siberian crabapples, planting siberian crabapples

About this Author

Katelyn Lynn is a certified holistic health practitioner who specializes in orthomolecular medicine and preventative modalities. She also has extensive experience in botany and horticulture. Lynn has been writing articles for various websites relating to health and wellness since 2007. She has been published on She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in alternative medicine from Everglades University.