Crabapple Tree Care 2017-06-06T14:26:12+00:00

Crabapple Tree Care

Crabapple Trees

Crabapple trees are a popular ornamental due to the beautiful flowering that trumpets the spring. Drought tolerance is an important benefit to choosing a crabapple, making them relatively easy-care.

The crabapple fruit is smaller than apple trees and has a bitter taste; newer varieties have smaller, more persistent fruit, while larger-fruited crabapples are valued for making jams and jellies. Fallen fruit can be a pain to clean up in high traffic areas such as sidewalks and driveways.

2016 prospects for crabapple fruit along the Front Range are average to good.  The 2015-2016 winter in Denver was unusually mild for fruit tree flower bud survival with only two days of zero degrees F (December 17 and 28) and no temperatures below zero (National Weather Service DIA records). Late blooming fruit such as apple and pear, and even fruit that bloomed slightly earlier such as sour cherry and plum, may have fruit this year. The specific location of fruit trees, localized overnight minimum temperatures, health of trees and amount of bee pollination activity are some of the factors that will affect your prospects to develop blossoms, set and grow fruit.

Crabapple Tree Care and Trimming

ArborScape is dedicated to help guide you to produce high quality, healthy crabapples. A flowering crabapple tree in your yard provides bright-colored fruit, which will attract birds. A sterile crab-hybrid will not bear fruit, making it a good choice close to sidewalks. Crabapples are hardy trees, but are prone to common diseases such as apple scab and fire blight.

Don’t eat the fruit of a tree you don’t know the history of. A crabapple – or any fruit tree – may be treated with chemicals that can poison the fruit for a season or more!

We recommend trimming crabapples during the dormant season (January and February) because of the high incidence of fire blight in the Denver area. Trimming during dormancy ensures that infected branches don’t release the bacterial agent into the air to find another host tree (typically rose, pear, or another crabapple nearby). Improper pruning, especially in fall, can strip away too many dormant buds – which may lessen foliage the next year.

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