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Crabapple trees can make for beautiful garden or front yard trees. If you’re considering planting a crabapple tree, you may be wondering what fertilizers are best to use for the tree. Well, you’ve come to the right post. We’ve researched the best type of fertilizer to use for crabapple trees. And in this post, we will discuss it along with a few recommendations.
The best fertilizer for a crabapple tree is one with an NPK (Nitrogen-Potassium-Phosphorous) ratio of 10-10-10. Crabapple trees prefer an even amount of basic nutrients to survive, so you can also use all-purpose fertilizer for most crabapple tree varieties, even for baby crabapple trees. Here are a few of the best fertilizers that meet these criteria:
- Lilly Miller All Purpose Planting Food
- Scotts All Purpose Flower & Vegetable Plant Food
- Espoma GF1010106 Garden Food
- Triple 10 All-Purpose Liquid Fertilizer
- The Andersons PGF Balanced 10-10-10 Fertilizer
- Howard Johnsons All-Purpose Fertilizer, 10-10-10
- Lebanon Seaboard Corporation Green View All-Purpose Fertilizer
Unlike other garden trees, crabapple trees don’t have very demanding fertilizer requirements. However, it doesn’t mean that they can live without it completely. Continue reading to learn more about the best types of fertilizer for your crabapple tree and how best to apply them.
Crabapple Trees and Fertilizer
On average, you’ll find that most crabapple varieties need little additional fertilizer the first year that they are planted. The annual growth for these trees is around 5 to 6 inches a year, and during this time, supplemental fertilizer is required.
It’s best to use an equalized all-purpose fertilizer for the tree per the size of the roots of the tree. You can use liquid, granules, or spiked fertilizer for these trees. Liquid fertilizer is the most common type to use if you’re correcting any micronutrient deficiencies such as yellowing or iron chlorosis.
If you suspect that your crabapple tree has a nutrient deficiency, test the soil beneath the tree to get the current pH. After that, you can set up a maintenance plan to help restore the needed nutrients to the tree over the next few weeks and months. Let’s look at some of the best fertilizers to keep your crabapple tree healthy and thriving.
Best Fertilizers For Crabapple Trees
1. Lilly Miller All Purpose Planting Food
This all-purpose plant food by Lilly Miller is a simple formula that you can apply to go with baby and mature crabapple trees. It is fortified with much-needed essential plant minerals nutrients. The solution can give your crabapple tree all of the nitrogen that it needs to create new molecular processes, especially in growing trees. This formula is a slow-release solution that allows for sustainable and steady growth.
It contains all-natural ingredients and can keep your tree looking healthy with green foliage and beautiful blooms. It lasts about six weeks, and it’s best used throughout the entire growing season. You don’t need to mix it; you can just add it to the soil beneath the tree.
2. Scotts All Purpose Flower & Vegetable Plant Food
Here is another formula that you can use for your crabapple tree, especially if you have damaged or baby trees. It’s an easy-to-use fertilizer that can be applied directly to the soil to encourage lush foliage and healthy root growth. If you are looking for a fertilizer that’s affordable, easy-to-use, and made from a dependable brand, this Scott’s all-purpose fertilizer can work well for your crabapple tree.
3. Espoma GF1010106 Garden Food
This general-purpose fertilizer by Espoma is perfect for crabapple trees both young and mature. It contains all three major nutrients and is quickly absorbed into plant roots to be transported throughout the tree. The formula is simple, easy to apply, and you don’t have to worry about damaging your plants as long as you use the recommended amount by the manufacturer. This all-purpose fertilizer can also be used on other trees, shrubs, and flowers in your garden.
4. Triple 10 All-Purpose Liquid Fertilizer
An undiluted fertilizer packed with powerful nutrients, this all-purpose liquid fertilizer is definitely worth taking a look at. If you prefer a high concentrated fertilizer, this may be the perfect solution for your tree. It contains seaweed extract and several amino acids to help keep your crabapple thriving, particularly when your tree’s nutrient concentrations are on the low side.
It can be used on other trees in your garden and fruit trees, vegetable plants, and various flower varieties. You’ll want to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for deleting the fertilizer to prevent chemical burn. On average, you can use this fertilizer about every one to two weeks–the crabapple trees will generally need much less unless they are recovering from damage.
5. The Andersons PGF Balanced 10-10-10 Fertilizer
This 10-10-10 fertilizer by Andersons is one of the best professional-grade fertilizers that you can use for your crabapple tree. It’s a grand old solution that has all the minerals and nutrients that your tree will need. The small particle size of this fertilizer allows it to provide immediate access to the tree’s roots, which means a quicker absorption rate.
It contains 2% iron to help encourage lively and green foliage, and it is ideal for both spring and fall applications. Every bag of fertilizer can cover up to 5,000 square feet, and it can be used on several other different trees and plants in your lawn or garden.
6. Howard Johnsons All-Purpose Fertilizer, 10-10-10
Here is an all-purpose fertilizer that can give you a crabapple tree the basic nutrients and elements that it needs to produce beautiful blooms and promote daily molecular activity. This easy-to-use formula provides a balanced blend of ingredients and essential nutrients to promote healthy root growth and beautiful foliage. This 35 lb bag is more than enough to give your tree all of its fertilization needs for the entire year.
7. Lebanon Seaboard Corporation Green View All-Purpose Fertilizer
If you are looking for a fertilizer that’s easy to use and is gentle enough for weakened baby crabapple trees, here is one to consider. This simple formula by Lebanon Seaboard Corp is powerful enough for large crabapple trees but gentle enough for baby plants that may need more nitrogen in their early developmental stages. It contains a balanced ratio of essential nutrients and can be used on other trees, shrubs, and flowers in your garden or lawn.
What kind of fertilizer do crabapple trees need?
Most crab apple tree varieties need a fertilizer that has an NPK ratio of 10-10-10. Overall, they typically don’t require a huge demand for any particular nutrient, only the essential nutrients that most plants need to thrive. For the most part, you can use all-purpose fertilizers for these trees.
When should I fertilize my crabapple tree?
The best time to apply fertilizer to your crab apple tree is during the fall before the temperatures drop to freezing or in the springtime before the growing season starts. It’s also a good idea to first test the soil around the tree to determine if it’s deficient in any specific nutrients. This way, you can alter your fertilizer application if needed.
Do crabapple trees grow in clay soil?
Yes. You can grow crabapple trees in clay soil, as they are fairly adaptable trees. While most trees may not be tolerant of the heavy nature of clay soil, these trees can tolerate a fairly well as long as it drains adequately. If needed, you can also add loam or sand to the soil to help with any potential drainage issues. Overall, you want the soil to remain moist and slightly acidic, as crabapple trees prefer soil with a pH level of 6.0 to 8.0.
How often do you water a crabapple tree?
Baby crabapple trees are known to be very drought-resistant. However, it’s best to give them a good weekly watering session during the first year as the roots began to establish themselves. After that, the tree may not need watering unless you live in a fairly dry location or experience a summer season that is hotter than normal.
How many hours of sun does a crabapple tree need?
On average, crabapple trees prefer anywhere from 8 to 12 hours of direct sunlight daily.
Wrapping Things Up
We hope this post has helped provide you with several fertilizer options to consider for your crabapple tree. Remember, crabapple trees don’t require a lot of fertilizer, but it’s always helpful to monitor the tree for any potential nutrient issues.
Before you go, be sure to check out some of our other posts: