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How to Care for Lollipop Crabapple Trees

Lollipop crabapple is a slow-growing, dwarf version of an ornamental crabapple tree, named because of its pleasant, rounded shape. Mature height of Lollipop crabapple is about 8 feet, with an equal spread. White blooms appear on the tree in springtime, followed by small, golden crabapples in late summer. In autumn, the foliage takes on a yellowish tint. Lollipop crabapple isn't difficult to maintain and is suitable for growing in US Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 4 and above.

Plant your Lollipop crabapple tree in rich, well-drained soil and full sunlight. Although crabapple trees tolerate light shade, direct sunlight produces more flowers and decreases the risk of powdery mildew and other problems caused by moist conditions. Avoid southern or western exposures, as the intense sunlight and heat may force your tree to bloom too early, putting the tree at risk of damage in case of a late springtime frost.

Spread a 1- to 2-inch layer of mulch on the ground around the tree to keep the soil moist and to control weeds. Pull weeds and grass from the area around the tree, as weeds and grass will compete for soil nutrients and water.

Water your Lollipop crabapple regularly during the first year. The tree will thrive with an inch of water per week, through irrigation or rainfall. Thereafter, crabapple is drought-tolerant and needs no supplemental irrigation unless the weather is hot and dry for prolonged periods. During drought conditions, water deeply every two to three weeks, providing 2 to 6 inches of water each time.

Perform any necessary pruning by mid-June, before the tree begins to bud. Although crabapple requires very little pruning, the tree benefits from removal of dead, weak or diseased branches, or branches that grow across or rub on other branches. Remove suckers that grow up from the base of the tree, as well as watersprouts, which are fast-growing, spindly stems that grow straight up from the branches.

Fertilize your lollipop crabapple tree if the foliage is stunted or pale green in color, or if growth is limited to less than 6 inches per year. Otherwise, Lollipop crabapple trees require no fertilizer. If fertilizer is needed, provide a high-nitrogen 25-5-10 fertilizer. Apply the fertilizer on the ground around the tree at a rate of 10 lbs. of fertilizer spread evenly over an area measuring approximately 31.5 feet by 31.5 feet.

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