Superior Crabapple Trees for the Landscape

Revised 5/93 -- Author Reviewed 12/98 HIL-8613

Thomas G. Ranney, Associate Professor
D. Michael Benson, Plant Pathologist
M. A. (Kim) Powell, Extension Horticultural Specialist
Department of Horticultural Science
 

Flowering crabapples have tremendous potential as small/ medium sized flowering trees that can be grown all across North Carolina. These deciduous, spring flowering trees are adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions and have a variety of ornamental characteristics to choose from, including an assortment of flower color and fragrance, fruit size and color, and tree form.

In some cases, crabapples have developed a poor reputation as a result of disease problems (scab, mildew, and fire blight) as well as susceptibility to certain insect pests such as Japanese beetle. However, extensive breeding and evaluation projects have resulted in numerous selections that are resistant to these problems. The varieties listed in the following table have been found to warrant particular attention due to their desirable ornamental characteristics as well as substantial disease resistance. This list is by no means comprehensive and there are many exciting new introductions currently being evaluated; however, the plants listed have undergone considerable testing and are proven performers.

It should also be emphasized that no single species or cultivar is suited for all sites and consideration should be given to local occurrence of diseases and insects, hardiness zone, tree form, and mature tree size when selecting any plant. Problems with rootstock suckers can be minimized by using plants that are grown from cuttings or grafted onto rootstocks with limited suckering problems, such as EMLA 111. The data included in the following table have been consolidated from numerous evaluation trials located across the country including sites in Raleigh and Fletcher, N.C. Although all of the plants listed herein have considerable resistance to foliar diseases, their degree of resistance under "worst case" conditions is indicated.

For Further Reading

PLANT

HT.(ft.)/WD.(ft.)

FORM

FOLIAGE

FLOWERS

FRUIT

 

DISEASE & INSECT RESISTANCE

Scab

Fire Blight

Rust

Mildew

Japanese Beetle

`Adams'

20/20

Rounded

Greenish red

Red/pink

PRed, 5/8"

Good

Good

Excel.

Good

Poor

`Adirondack'

18/10

Upright

Medium green

Red buds/white

Red/orange, 1/2"

Excel.

Excel.

Excel.

Excel.

-

baccata var. jackii

30/25

Rounded

Glossy green

FWhite

PRed, 1/2 "

Excel.

Fair

Excel.

Good

Excel.

`Callaway'

25/25

Rounded

Green

Pink/white

1Red, 1"

Good

Good

Good

Good

Good

`David'

18/20

Rounded

Green

Pink/white

PRed,1/2"

Good

Good

Excel.

Excel.

Good

`Dolgo'

40/30

Upright/spread

Green

White

1Red, 1 1/2 "

Good

Good

Excel.

Excel.

Excel.

`Donald Wyman'

20/20

Rounded

Glossy green

White

PRed, 3/8"

Good

Fair

Excel.

Good

Good

floribunda

18/25

Horiz./rounded

Green

FPink/white

Amber, 3/8"

Good

Good

Good

Good

Good

`Indian
Summer'

18/20

Broad/rounded

Bronze green

Rose red

PRed, 5/8"

Fair

Good

Excel.

Excel.

Good

`Jewel-
berry'

8/12

Dwarf, rounded

Green

Pink/white

Red, 1/2 "

Good

Good

Excel.

Excel.

Excel.

`Louisa'

15/15

Weeping

Glossy green

Red/pink

Yellow, 3/8"

Good

Good

Good

Good

Excel.

Molten
Lava
®

15/15

Weeping

Green

Red bud/white

Red/orange, 3/8 "

Good

Fair

Good

Fair

Excel.

`Prairifire'

20/20

Upright/spread.

Reddish green

Crimson/pink

PRed, 1/2"

Excel.

Excel.

Excel.

Excel.

Good

`Professor
Sprenger'

25/25

Upright/spread.

Green

Pink/white

POrange/red,
1/2 "

Good

Good

Excel.

Good

Good

`Robinson'

25/25

Upright/spread.

Reddish/bronze green

Crimson/pink

PRed, 3/8"

Fair

Excel.

Excel.

Excel.

Fair

sargentii

10/14

Spreading

Dark green

FWhite

Red, 1/4"

Good

Good

Excel.

Excel.

Excel.

`Sentinel'

20/15

Upright

Dark green

Pink/white

PRed, 1/2"

Good

Good

Excel.

Excel.

Poor

Sugar
Tyme
®

18/15

Oval

Green

FPink/white

PRed, 1/2"

Good

Good

Excel.

Excel.

Good

`White
Cascade'

15/15

Weeping

Green

Pink/white

Yellow, 3/8"

Good

Excel.

Fair

Excel.

Excel.

F preceding flower color indicates that flowers are fragrant.
P preceding fruit color indicates that fruit is persistent minimizing maintenance problems.
1 `Dolgo' and 'Callaway' have good fruit for making jellies and jams, but the fruit are not persistent and can be a maintenance problem.


Published by

North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service


Distributed in furtherance of the Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914. Employment and program opportunities are offered to all people regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. North Carolina State University at Raleigh, North Carolina A&T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.