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Crabapples (photo courtesy of Mark Turner)
Crabapples (photo courtesy of Mark Turner)

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Zone
Zones A1-A3, 1-9, 11-21, 32-43, H1
Full Sun
Full
Regular Water
Moderate

Crabapple

Crabapple
Rosaceae
Deciduous, Edible fruit, Trees, Decorative fruit or berries

Crabapple is a small, usually tart apple, typically used for jelly and pickling. For the many kinds grown for their springtime flowers and small, typically inedible, colorful fruit, see Flowering crabapple, described under Malus. Trees are typically 15–25 ft. tall and wide.

Of the crabapple varieties grown for fruit, one of the most popular is ‘Transcendent’, with 2-in., red-cheeked yellow crabapples that ripen in summer. Others include ‘Centennial’ and ‘Dolgo’, both with 1 1/2-in. fruit; that of ‘Centennial’ is sweet. The red-fruited ‘Maypole’ is a newer columnar dwarf crabapple variety. ‘Rescue’ and ‘Trailman’ are very hardy apple-crabapple hybrids that can be eaten fresh or cooked.

To fruit well, crabapple trees need about 600 hours of temperatures at 45°F/7°C or lower. In coldest areas, crabapples should be grafted onto hardy rootstocks (for more information, see the Apple listing).

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