Crabapple Trees For Landscapes: A Guide To Common Crabapple Varieties
Crabapples are popular, adaptable trees that add all-season beauty to the garden with minimal maintenance. Picking a crabapple tree is a bit of a challenge, however, because this versatile tree is available in a tremendous range of flower color, leaf color, fruit color, size and shape. Read on to learn about choosing crabapple trees for landscapes.
Popular Crabapple Varieties
There are both fruiting crabapple trees and non-fruiting crabapples. While most flowering crabapples develop fruit, there are a few varieties that are virtually fruitless. Below are some common types of crabapples to choose from:
Golden Hornet – This is an upright variety that produces white to pale pink blooms followed by greenish-yellow fruit. The foliage turns from medium green to yellow in fall.
Snowdrift – This rounded form produces pink buds that bloom white. Its orange fruit is followed by bright yellow autumn colored leaves.
Sugar Tyme – Having an oval-like shape, this crabapple tree has pink flowers with deep red crabapple fruit. It, too, changes from green to yellow in fall.
Sparkling Sprite – Another rounded variety, this one has yellow to golden-orange fruit and its fall foliage is an attractive deep red.
Donald Wyman – Turning a golden yellow in fall, this rounded crabapple tree produces white blooms and red fruit early on.
Sargent Tina (Dwarf) – If you’re lacking for space, then this round, dwarf form may be just the tree you need. With stunning red spring blossoms followed by bright red fruit, it makes an attractive specimen.
Callaway – Another white-flowering crabapple with red fruit, this variety consists of an oval, round shape and produces attractive fall foliage in shades of yellow, orange and red.
Adams – This crabapple has a rounded to pyramidal shape with deep pink flowers and glossy red fruit. Its foliage is reddish in color, maturing to green and orange-red in fall.
Anne E – This is a weeping variety producing attractive rosy pink blossoms and bright red fruit followed by yellow fall foliage.
Cardinal – Upright in form with rosy red flowers and deep red fruit. The foliage turns reddish-purple to red-orange in autumn.
Ellen Gerhart – Another popular upright variety, this crabapple tree has pale pink blossoms and bright red fruit.
Brandywine – This rounded variety produces pretty rosy pink blossoms followed by greenish-yellow fruit. You’ll also enjoy its green foliage that’s tinted with red and changes an orange to yellow color in autumn.
Centurion – This is a columnar crabapple that produces rosy red blooms and red fruit. The fall leaves may be reddish-green to yellow-orange.
Cinzam (Dwarf) – Another dwarf rounded variety, it produces white blossoms that are followed by golden yellow fruit.
Velvet Pillar – An upright crabapple tree that produces pink flowers and maroon colored fruit. In autumn, the foliage takes on purple and orange-red hues.
Adirondack – This oval formed crabapple has pure white blooms followed by orange-red fruit. Autumn color may be mottled green to yellow.
Merilee – A narrow, upright variety, this crabapple bears white blossoms.
Prairie Rose – A rounded, medium-green tree with deep pink flowers.
Spring Snow – An oval form variety having pure white blooms.
Pink Glow crab apple
Crab-apples fall into two categories when it comes to fruit size - larger-fruited or small berry-like fruits. The larger-fruited forms are attractive because of the size and vividness of the fruitlets. The attraction of the smaller fruited forms lies in the way the tiny fruitlets are clustered together.
It's also worth noting that the larger-fruited forms are generally the best for cooking with, as they are easier to handle and have more flesh.
A useful characteristic to look out for with crab-apples is "persistence" of the fruitlets. Whilst most mainstream apples will fall to the ground when ripe, many crab-apple varieties hold on to their fruits - which means the tree continues to provide colour and interest into late autumn and early winter. These persistent fruitlets are often useful for encouraging the local birds and wildlife into your garden.