Crab Apple Tree Care


Crabapple trees are grown for their ornamental flowers. They also produce small, apple-like fruit that is used in jams and jellies. The pink and lavender blossoms bloom from early spring to early summer, depending on the particular variety of tree. They add both color and shade to your landscaping. The fruits left on the tree also encourage visiting birds in winter who partake of the bounty. Caring for your crabapple tree properly ensures it continues to thrive and produce and abundance of flowers and fruits.

Step 1

Plant crabapple trees in areas that receive full sun and minimal shading from other trees and from buildings. Choose well-drained areas that have average soil quality.

Step 2

Mulch around trees with a 2-inch layer of organic mulch, such as shredded bark, but avoid placing the mulch directly against the tree trunk. Mulching preserves soil moisture.

Step 3

Provide 15 to 20 inches of water to the tree each year, including natural precipitation. Water at the base of the tree during extended dry periods, providing approximately 1 inch of water for each foot of the tree's spread per week.

Step 4

Prune crabapples immediately after spring flowering before they begin forming new flower buds for next year. Remove branches that are growing too close together, that are too low on the trunk, or that cross each other.

Step 5

Apply a 2-inch layer of mature compost around the base of the tree each spring. Water thoroughly after application to provide nutrients to the soil and the roots. Crabapples rarely require additional fertilization.

Tips and Warnings

  • Treat fungal or insect problems immediately with the correct insecticide or fungicide. Avoid planting crabapples in overly shaded areas of the lawn. This leads to less flowering and increased fungus problems.

Things You'll Need

  • Mulch
  • Pruning shears and saw
  • Compost


  • Colorado State Extension: Flowering Crabapple
Keywords: crabapple care, flowering trees, ornamental apple tree

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.