How to Trim a Flowering Crabapple Tree


Crabapple trees are small ornamental fruit trees that flower in the spring with five-petaled blossoms in dazzling shades of pink, white or red. The decorative and edible crabapples form in the fall in colors of red, yellow or green, and although bitter when eaten straight off the tree, often is made into jellies and jams for a sweet treat. Crabapple trees are hardy in growing zones 3 to 5 and can reach heights of 15 to 25 feet.

Step 1

Trim your crabapple tree before early summer, right after it has finished flowering. If pruned after July the new bud growth will be cut off, reducing the amount of blossoms and fruit it will produce the next spring.

Step 2

Cut off water sprouts and suckers. Water sprouts grow straight from branches and suckers grow out from the roots or base of the tree. These rapidly growing branches do not add to the tree and need to be trimmed.

Step 3

Remove diseased, dead or damaged branches. Cut the branches back to the trunk of the tree and do not leave any stumps.

Step 4

Cut off all crossing branches and cut out any branches in the center. This allows for more sunlight and air circulation in the center of the tree which will help in the growth and well-being of the tree.

Step 5

Next, trim up the tree to shape. Take a little off at a time until you get the shape that you desire.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp pruners or shears


  • Taylor's Master Guide to Gardening Book
  • Landscape America
  • Step-by-Step Successful Gardening Book
Keywords: flowering crabapple, trimming trees, gardening

About this Author

Amy Hannaford works as a medical assistant in Southern Oregon. She has been writing online articles about health and gardening since 2008. Hannaford holds an Associate of Arts and taught childbirth classes from 1993-2010. She enjoys researching nutrition and perfecting her gardening skills.