Home gardeners usually select crabapple trees to complement the landscape with a compact tree, for flowers, or for pretty foliage, but like other ornamental trees, crabapple fruit will appear in the right season.
Do Crabapple Trees Produce Fruit?
Crabapple trees are great ornamental choices for a variety of settings, and most are hardy across a wide climate range. Most people choose crabapples for their smaller size and for the pretty white or pink flowers that they produce in spring. Of secondary consideration is the fruit on a crabapple tree, but most will produce them. By definition, a crabapple is 2 inches (5 cm.) or less in dimeter, while anything larger is just an apple.
When Do Crabapples Fruit?
The fruit on a crabapple tree can be another layer of ornament in your yard. The flowers are often the first draw for this kind of tree, but crabapple fruit comes in a variety of colors and add visual interest when they form in the fall. The foliage will also turn color, but the fruits often persist long after the leaves come down. Fall fruit colors on crabapples include bright, glossy red, yellow and red, yellow only, orange-red, deep red, and even yellow-green depending on the variety. The fruits will also keep birds coming to your yard for fruit well into late fall. Of course, crabapples aren’t just for the birds to enjoy. Are crabapples edible to humans as well? Yes, they are! While on their own, they may not taste that great, several varieties of crabapple fruit are wonderful for making jams, jellies, pies and the like.
Are There Fruitless Crabapple Trees?
There is a variety of crabapple tree that does not produce fruit. If you like these ornamental trees but aren’t interested in picking up all the rotting apples from underneath them, you can try a ‘Spring Snow,’ ‘Prairie Rose,’ or ‘Marilee’ crabapple. These are unusual for being fruitless crabapple trees, or mostly fruitless anyway. Except for ‘Spring Snow,’ which is sterile; they may produce a few apples. These fruitless varieties are great for walkways and patios, where you don’t want fruit underfoot. Whether you like the idea of crabapple fruits in your garden or not, this compact ornamental tree is a beautiful and flexible option for landscaping. Choose from several varieties to get the flowers and fruit you like best.
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Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.
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