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With these characteristics: None

Crabapple

Malus species

Rosaceae - Rose

Description

See also apple description and illustrations

Leaves: Similar to apple, but some species/cultivars have lobed leaves and undersides of leaves may or may not be hairy.

Twigs/buds: Twigs red-brown; somewhat woolly; characteristic sweet taste.  Terminal bud woolly (particularly at tip), blunt; lateral buds similar but smaller; round.

Flowers/fruit: Flowers perfect; similar to apple; sometimes doubled (with extra sets of petals); cultivars available with white, pink, red, or purplish flowers.  Fruit a red, yellow, orange, or green pome; mostly smaller than apple, 1/4" to 2" diameter, depending on cultivar.

Bark: Variable; often smooth early on; gray-brown, shiny, thin, and scaly on older trunks.

Wood: Heartwood reddish-gray; sapwood light-red; darker when steamed; wild trees probably better than cultivated varieties; hard, difficult to work and split; easy to stain and polish; used to make furniture, toys, tool handles, canes, and pianos. 

General: Crabapples are a confusing group of trees from a horticultural or botanical standpoint.  They consist of several species and hundreds of cultivars from all over the world.  The most concise definition I have seen, by Michael Dirr, is that if the fruit is 2" in diameter or less it is a crabapple; if more than 2" it is an apple.  Shade intolerant. Fruit and/or plant part can be nuisances; use fruitless varieties if possible.  Sucker (sprout) growth can be a problem.

Landscape Use: Crabapples are extremely valuable from an ornamental standpoint, making excellent small to medium-sized landscape trees.  They vary widely, however, in their disease resistance, ornamental characteristics, and size.  For a very complete discussion of crabapples, see Dirr's 1990 Manual of Woody Landscape Plants.  Also Kuhns' Trees of Utah book has a table on crabapples for Utah.  Zones 3-9.

Cultivars: Numerous varieties.

Characteristics

General

Family:
Rosaceae - Rose
Cultivar Availability:
Yes
Hardiness Zone:
3-9
Type:
Broadleaf
Utah Native:
No

Growth

Growth Rate:
Medium
Mature Height:
Low
Longevity:
Medium
Is Good Under Power Lines:
Yes
Crown Shape:
Rounded

Ornamental

Bark:
No
Fall Color:
No
Flowers:
Yes
Foliage:
Yes
Fruit:
Yes

Tolerence

Shade:
Low
Salt:
High
Drought:
Medium
Poor Drainage:
Medium
Alkalinity:
High
Transplanting:
High