How to Transplant Flowering Crabapple Bushes


Crabapples are commonly grown as either a small tree or a bush with multiple stems. They are deciduous. Each spring crabapples burst forth in pink, red, lavender or white fragrant blossoms that attract bees, butterflies and birds. Flowers produce small apple-shaped fruits that are quite bitter. The fruit is commonly used in jams and jellies. There are over 700 cultivated varieties of crabapples grown in either tree or shrub form. Crabapples can be transplanted with care once established. Transplant a crabapple shrub in the spring before growth appears.

Step 1

Choose a sunny location to transplant the crabapple bush to. The location should provide moist, well-drained soil. Dig a hole twice as large as the root ball of the transplanted tree. Work organic matter into the soil at a ratio of 50 percent peat moss to 50 percent garden soil.

Step 2

Dig 2 feet out from the base of the crabapple bush all the way around the shrub. Dig 2 feet into the ground. Gently work the shovel up and under the crabapple bush. Work the bush out of the ground. Gently life upward.

Step 3

Place the transplanted root ball of the crabapple shrub into the newly dug hole. Gently begin filling the hole in, using the garden soil and peat moss mixture. Tamp the soil down firmly around the shrub's root system.

Step 4

Water the transplanted crabapple shrub thoroughly. Apply 2 to 3 inches of mulch around the base of the crabapple shrub. Use peat moss, bark chips, pine needles, saw dust or recycled plastic mulch. Mulch helps keep the root system of the transplanted shrub moist and cool. The mulch will also help keep weed growth back.

Step 5

Fertilize the crabapple after the flowers have died back. Apply a mixture of 20-5-10 fertilizer around the base of the crabapple shrub. Apply one to two cups depending on the size of the shrub. Water the fertilizer into the ground thoroughly.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Peat moss
  • Mulch


  • Forest Service: Flowering Crabapples
  • West Virginia University: Crabapples
  • University Of Main: Flowering Crabapples For Main

Who Can Help

  • U.S. Department Of Agriculture: Crabapples
Keywords: transplanting a crabapple shrub, transplanting a crabapple bush, transplanting a crabapple