Creating a garden with beautiful flowers takes some careful planning and hard work. While crabapple trees are frequently used to provide year-round beauty, it can be difficult to predict when and if they will bloom. Not being sure when part of your garden will produce flowers can be frustrating for gardeners of all skill levels. Fortunately, we've done the research and can tell you when and how often crabapple trees produce flowers.
A crabapple tree will typically flower every year. However, certain cultivars of the Malus plant bloom heavily on alternate years and very little or not at all other years. Some examples of crabapples with alternating blooming schedules include the Arnold, Dolgo, Redbud, and Sargent cultivars.
Keep reading to learn when your species of crabapple will bloom, some common reasons they don't bloom, and how often these plants will produce fruit.
These trees have been modified to the point that there are hundreds of different types of crabapple trees. Creating new types of crabapple trees can have its benefits. Many new plants are more resistant to diseases and insects. However, this can affect flowering. Many popular species of crabapple will produce fruit and flowers in abundance for one year and then not the next.
The Sugar Tyme tree has fairly good disease resistance. This tree is round with white flowers and small red fruits. You can expect the Sugar Tyme crabapple to bloom well every year once established.
At maturity, the Callaway crabapple will reach between 15 and 25 feet. It produces a pink bud that will bloom into a white flower. The deep red fruits it bears are very persistent. This cultivar is considered one of the most disease-resistant crabapples in the southern United States. The Callaway crabapple blooms every year.
The Dolgo crabapple tree is small and rounded. At maturity, it will reach between 10 and 20 feet high. It has small, white flowers and will bear red fruit in the fall and winter. The Dolgo crabapple will bloom heavier during alternate years.
The Sargent crabapple has white flowers in the spring. These flowers tend to bloom early. Then, they bear dark red fruit in the fall and winter months. The fruit for the Sargent crabapple tree is persistent. You can expect the Sargent crabapple to bloom heavily in alternate years.
The Adirondack crabapple grows upward in a column shape. It typically grows to 20 feet. You can expect to get white flowers in the spring and small bright, red fruit come winter. The Adirondack crabapple tree will bloom every year.
The Red Jewel crabapple has incredibly persistent fruits. In fact, the fruit will remain on the tree until it starts flowering again in the spring. This particular cultivar will grow to around 15 feet and has white flowers with bright red fruits. The Red Jewel crabapple will bloom every year.
The Chestnut crabapple tree is an excellent source of beauty and food. This tree produces pink buds that bloom into fragrant white flowers in the spring. Then, it produces red crabapples that have a distinct nutty flavor. At maturity, this tree will reach around 20 feet tall. You can expect to see bloom for the Chestnut crabapple every year.
The David crabapple is especially compact and rounded. These trees typically reach a height of about 12 feet high. You can expect to see pink and white flowers on this type of tree. It will also have fruits that are red and less than an inch in diameter. The David crabapple blooms well on alternate years.
Additional Alternate Blooms
While those are some of the bloom schedules for the more popular types of crabapples, that isn't all that can produce flowers in alternate years. Here are a few additional crabapples who bloom every other year:
- Arnold (Malus x arnoldiana)
- Eleyi (Malus x purpurea 'Eleyi')
- Katherine (Malus 'Katherine')
- Midget (Malus x micromalus)
- Redbud (Malus zumi 'Calocarpa')
- Pink Weeper (Malus 'Oekonomierat Echtermeyer')
- Tea (Malus hupehensis)
- Van Eseltine (Malus 'Van Eseltine')
Why Is My Crabapple Tree Not Blooming?
If alternate blooming isn't a problem for you, you may be wondering why your crabapple isn't blooming. Unfortunately, there are a large number of reasons why you aren't getting flowers on your tree.
How old is your crabapple? It can take between four and five years for your tree to be mature enough to bear fruit and flowers. This can take even longer if it isn't being grown in ideal conditions.
Over pruning and under pruning can also cause a tree not to flower. If you accidentally prune incorrectly, it can negatively affect the tree for multiple years. Finally, you could have a diseased plant. Check your crabapple for signs of powdery mildew, apple scab, or rust.
To keep your crabapple tree healthy, check out: 7 Best Fertilizers For Crabapple Trees.
How Often Do Crabapple Trees Produce Fruit?
Crabapples similarly bear fruit as their flowers. In general, your crabapple should produce fruit every year around the fall months. These fruits are considered persistent, which means that they will continue to cling to the branches throughout the winter.
If you aren't interested in the fruits of crabapple trees, then you can use a special treatment to stop your tree from producing fruit. There are also types of crabapple trees that don't produce fruit. The 'Spring Snow,' 'Prairie Rose,' and 'Marilee' are all variations of crabapple trees that don't produce fruit.
How Long Do Flowering Crabapple Trees Live?
Flowering crabapples have a short lifespan. These trees will live less than 100 years, anywhere between 30 and 70 years. Many types of crabapple trees will only live between 30 and 40 years. However, if it does live past 40, it will produce less fruit and flowers as the years go on. Older trees will need more care put into them. This is because they are more susceptible to disease and damage.
In What Month Do Crabapple Trees Bloom?
Flowering crabapple trees will flower in the spring months. These are typically around April and May. However, this will vary by the cultivar and the overall growing conditions for the plant. Despite these variations, flowers tend to appear on crabapple trees after 50 to 80 growing degree days.
To Sum It All Up
Crabapple trees are a beautiful addition to any garden. These compact trees produce both beautiful flowers, and some bear delicious fruits. Despite their beauty, many types of crabapple trees actually only bloom once every one or two years. If yearly blooms are important to you, double-check the flowering schedule for your species of tree. Some common alternate-bearing crabapples include the David, Arnold, and Dolgo crabapple trees.
For more crabapple care advice, check out "Crabapple Tree Not Leafing Out - What To Do?