How to Plant a Flowering Crabapple Tree


Flowering crabapple trees are planted in urban and suburban yards for their spectacular display of flowers in spring and their small red apples in fall. They live for a long time and need very little care once planted. There are hundreds of varieties with flower colors that include white, pink, rose and red. The apples appear in late summer, and some varieties stay on the tree well into the winter months.

Step 1

Find a planting site for ornamental crabapple in full sun. It should get at least 8 hours of sun per day. Make sure it is an area that drains right away after a rainstorm.

Step 2

Prepare the planting site. Dig a hole that is twice as large as the root ball. Mix the soil you removed with two 5-gallon buckets of peat moss and one 5-gallon bucket of compost. Loosen the soil in the bottom of the planting hole with a garden fork. Add ½ cup of all purpose slow-release granulated fertilizer to the bottom of the hole. Mix it in with a garden fork.

Step 3

Add some of the improved soil to the planting hole. Set the root ball of the flowering crabapple on top of the prepared soil. Spread its roots out, so they are not crowded. Back fill the hole part way with the improved soil.

Step 4

Fill the hole up with water, allow it to drain and repeat.

Step 5

Back fill the planting hole the rest of the way up with the improved soil. Firm the surface with your foot.

Step 6

Create a ridge of soil around the perimeter of the planting hole with your hands. This will create a saucer-shaped depression around the newly planted tree which will help catch water and rainfall.

Step 7

Set a garden hose to a slow trickle. Place it near the trunk of the flowering crabapple. Let it slowly water in the newly planted tree for 60 to 90 minutes. During the first year that your flowering crabapple is growing in your garden, provide it with the equivalent of an inch of rainfall per week.

Step 8

Mulch the planting hole with a 6- to 8-inch layer of organic mulch, such as wood chips or shredded bark.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat moss
  • Compost
  • Shovel
  • Garden fork
  • Garden hose
  • Organic mulch


  • Tree Help: Plant Flowering Crabapple Trees
  • Ohio State University: Flowering Crabapple Trees
Keywords: how to plant a flowering crabapple tree, ornamental crabapple, plant flowering crabapples

About this Author

Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a professional writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.