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Flowering Crabapples

Source: Karen Johnson, University of Minnesota Extension – McLeod & Meeker Counties

Personally, one of my favorite things to see blooming in the landscape in the spring are crabapple trees. Each one unique in size, color, and shape. There is something special about the abundance of white, red, or pink-hued flowers. If you find yourself wishing you had one of the gorgeous flowering crabapple trees in your own yard here are some tips to keep in mind when selecting the best one for your property.

Always consider the size of the tree and the intended location. Providing adequate space for any plant will result in better overall health. Simply select the right plant for the right place so that it has the space to grow to its intended width and height. Ideally, keep trees at least 3-feet from pavement or fencing and 15-feet from nearby buildings or trees. Be aware of overhead power lines and buried water or electrical lines when selecting the ideal spot. Although there are many species of crabapple that reach 20-feet wide and tall there are other dwarf varieties that will stay less than 10-feet tall and wide. In addition to considering the size of the tree, also consider the shape. Some varieties of crabapples are broad and spreading forms, while others are tight, upright, and columnar for more narrow spaces.

Another major factor to consider is the plant’s resistance to apple scab and fire blight. Apple scab can be an unattractive nuisance that causes spots on the leaves and fruit and early leaf drop. Although treatable, the timing of treatment is critical and can be a bit complicated for the average homeowner. Fire Blight can cause death of blossoms and shoots leading to dieback of several branches. It is recommended to plant varieties that are known to show more resistance to avoid such issues.

Below is a list of crabapples that are recommended for Central and Southwest Minnesota or more tree recommendations can be found on the University of Minnesota Extension list of trees recommended for Minnesota.

Central (including Meeker County)

  • David: Light pink buds open to white flowers, red fruit, compact rounded open form, 10-15’ tall, 15-20’ wide
  • Donald Wyman: white flowers, red fruit, open spreading form, 15-20’ tall, 20’ wide
  • Indian Summer: deep rose-red flowers, red fruit, rounded shape, 15-20’ tall, 15-20’ wide
  • Liset: red buds, rose-red flowers, cherry-like fruit, compact, rounded shape, 15-20’ tall, 15-20’ wide
  • Madonna: pink buds, double white flowers, orange fruit, upright rounded shape, 15-20’ tall, 10’ wide
  • Ormiston Roy: red buds, white flowers, orange-yellow fruit, spreading rounded shape, 20-25’ tall, 20’ wide
  • Professor Sprenger: red buds, pink and white flowers, orange-red fruit, open spreading form, 20’ tall and wide
  • Robinson: red buds, red-pink flowers, rounded shape, red fruit, 15-25’ tall, 15-25’ wide
  • Red Splendor: pink flowers, red fruit, upright spreading shape, 20’ tall and wide
  • Sugar Tyme: white flowers, red fruit, open spreading form, 15-18’ tall and wide

Southwest (Including McLeod County)
*See above for information on: Donald Wyman, Indian Summer, Liset, Ormiston Roy, Professor Sprenger, and Sugar Tyme

  • Coralburst: pink buds, semi-double pink flowers, bronze-red fruit, dense rounded shape, 8-10’ tall, 12-15’ wide
  • Dolgo: pink buds, white flowers, large crimson fruit, upright open shape, 15-25’ tall, 20-30’ wide
  • Molten Lava: red buds, pale pink flowers, fade to white with maturity, red fruit, semi-weeping spreading shape, 15-20’ tall, 8-10’ wide
  • Pink Spires: pink-lavender flowers, red-purple fruit, columnar form, 15-20’ tall, 10-12’ wide
  • Profusion: red flowers, reddish-purple fruit, compact rounded shape, 15-20’ tall, 15-25‘wide
  • Red Baron: red buds, red flowers, red cherry fruit, upright columnar shape, 15-20’ tall, 6-8’ wide
  • Red Jewel: pink flowers opening to white flowers, red fruit, narrow upright shape, 12-15’ tall, 8-10’ wide

Maybe this year you will decide to add one or more of these beautiful flowering crabapples to your yard. Reference the University of Minnesota Extension webpage on tree care and selection for more information.

Contact

Karen Johnson, Extension educator, McLeod and Meeker Counties
ande9495@umn.edu or 320-693-5275 or 320-434-4303

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