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How Long Does A Crabapple Tree Live? [By Crabapple Variety]

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Deciding whether to plant a crabapple tree can be tricky at times. Do you want to add one to your garden but don't know how long it will live? We have done all the necessary research to find you the answers.

Crabapple trees usually live 30 to 70 years. Of course, environmental and human causes can affect a crabapples lifespan and how healthy a tree stays.

  • The Golden Hornet Crabapple lives between 40 and 50 years on average.
  • Snowdrift Crabapple usually lives for about 30 to 40 years.
  • The Sugar Tyme Crabapple has an average lifespan of about 50 years.
  • A Centennial Crabapple should stay alive for 40 to 60 years.

As we begin, we will cover all things crabapple trees and discuss their lifespans. Whether you currently have one in your garden or want to plant one, keeping your crabapple as healthy as possible is essential. With that said, let's dive right into this topic!

A small crabapples in the tree, How Long Does A Crabapple Tree Live? [By Crabapple Variety]

Do Crabapple Trees Live A Long Time?

When it comes to how long a crabapple tree lives, you can expect around 40 to 50 years on average. Although this seems like a long time to have a tree, crabapples are not considered a long-living tree species.

With around 35 unique species and nearly 900 different varieties available on the market, it can be tricky to determine a crabapple's actual life expectancy. Generally, crabapples have similar lifespans and often stop producing fruit/flowers once they reach 40 years old.

One beautiful flowering crab tree

Are Crabapple Trees Fast-Growing?

For the most part, crabapples grow at a slow to moderate pace of eight to ten inches per year. With that said, if your tree has good sunlight and the conditions are just right, you might see it grow closer to 12 inches.

To qualify as a fast-growing tree, one would need to grow at least 25 inches within a calendar year. Among the countless crabapple varieties, only Purple Prince and Robinsons are considered fast-growing by USDA standards.

Robinson Pink Flowering Crabapple

This live flowering Robinson crabapple is two years old, four to five feet upon arrival, and is recommended for zones four through eight.

Follow this link to view it on Amazon.

What Are The Most Popular Crabapple Varieties?

Although there isn't an official list, Golden Hornet, Snowdrift, Sugar Tyme, and Centennial crabapples are popular varieties among this tree species. Like we covered, you can expect all these trees to live at least 30 years and even well into 60 if their conditions are good.

With that said, as long as you keep your tree healthy and pest/disease-free, you should get to enjoy it for decades.

What Are Crabapples Used For?

Crabapple fruits are generally good sources of malic and tartaric acids, which help with indigestion, inflammation, and even fever.  When it comes to eating them, crabapples usually have a tart, slightly bitter taste due to their high acidity levels.

If you want to eat the crabapples from your tree, we suggest using them to make jam or jelly to help sweeten up their taste.

How Do I Know If My Crabapple Tree Is Dying?

Early spring flowers blooming

To determine if your crabapple tree is dying, make sure to look at its leaves and branches. A dying crabapple will often show signs of foliage loss and leaf discoloration in the early stages.

Another easy indicator of a sick crabapple is branch rotting and death, usually spreading through your tree. It is always a good idea to regularly check your crabapple tree and make sure there aren't any signs of pests or disease present.

Can You Save A Dying Crabapple Tree?

If your crabapple starts to die, there are some ways to save it. First, make sure to prune off any dead sections from your tree to prevent them from spreading to healthy ones.

Next, make sure to determine what is causing issues for your tree and develop a plan of action. If pests or diseases cause your dying crabapple, have your tree sprayed with an insecticide or pesticide to stop further damage from happening.

TABOR TOOLS 30-Inch Tree Trimmer

This heavy-duty trimmer can cut through up to two inches, works well on dead/dry branches, and features an ergonomic handle design.

Check this trimmer out on Amazon here.

How Do You Keep A Crabapple Tree Healthy?

To keep your crabapple tree healthy and thriving, make sure it has good draining soil, plenty of sun exposure, and not too much water. Typically, crabapple trees prefer minimal pruning and don't need watering more than once per week.

Another way to maintain good tree health is to fertilize your crabapple with slow or continuous-release plant food before the spring growing season. This type of tree, in particular, is very low maintenance, so the less you bother it, the better.

Miracle-Gro Shake 'N Feed Continuous Release Plant Food

This flowering tree plant food has a continuous release formula, comes in an eight-pound bag, and feeds your tree for three months per application.

See this on Amazon here.

How Often Should You Fertilize A Crabapple Tree?

Similar to pruning, a crabapple should only be fertilized about once per year. A good time to do this is in the early springtime, just before your trees growing season.

Although fertilizer is beneficial, adding too much or using it too often can cause crabapples roots to go into shock. Ideally, you should use a continuous release plant food right as spring kicks in and shouldn't need any more until the following year.

Does A Crabapple Tree Bloom Every Year?

Blossoms on a crab apple tree in springtime

When it comes to blooming, crabapples should flower every year. With that said, there are cases of crabapple varieties only blooming once every two years, so make sure to find a tree that blooms annually.

A few annual bloomers include Adams, Callaways, Cinderellas, and Louisa crabapple varieties.

Callaway Fruiting Crabapple Tree

This tree will come two years old, should bloom in the spring, and has a zone five through nine growing recommendation.

View this live tree on Amazon here.

Do All Crabapple Trees Have Flowers?

Regardless of your tree's variety, all crabapples should produce flowers during their blooming season. If your tree does not show flowers, it might need more sunlight or soil nutrients. 

Another reason your tree didn't bloom could be that it is too old and is saving its energy. Older crabapples usually have minimal flowers and then, after 40 years, stop blooming entirely.

Do Crabapple Trees Have Invasive Roots?

When it comes to crabapple trees roots, they are not invasive or aggressive. This tree tends to have mostly surface roots, even when fully mature, so you don't need to worry if your tree is planted near your home.

Generally, crabapple trees roots will reach depths of 16 to 24 feet once they mature and don't usually spread more than six feet wide.

Can You Replant A Crabapple Tree?

If your tree is not getting enough sun or isn't growing in its current spot, replanting can be tricky. Although possible, moving a crabapple from its current location to a new one can damage its roots and even kill it.

Instead, we recommend adding new mulch around your tree and trying to fertilize it. Of course, if this doesn't make much difference, you can try to dig up your tree and relocate it to a better spot. Younger crabapples under a year old transport much better than more mature trees and have fewer complications.

The Wrap Up

Whether you have a crabapple tree in your garden or want to plant one, expect it to live between 30 to 70 years. From what we found, most crabapple varieties have similar lifespans and will produce flowers each spring. When it comes to how fast they grow, crabapples are slower-growing trees versus other species.

Maintenance-wise, crabapples don't require tons of upkeep and prefer an annual pruning and fertilizing right before the spring growing season. Regardless, make sure to plant your crabapple in a sunny spot with good draining soil, and don't forget to check it regularly.

Don't head out just yet; check out these helpful related posts:

How Much Sun Does A Crabapple Tree Need?

Can You Grow Crabapple Trees In Pots? [And How To!]

How To Remove A Crabapple Tree Stump - 7 Steps To Follow

Heather Dunne

Sunday 15th of May 2022

Hi. I planted a crabapple tree in my yard 18 years ago. We have 2 others that bloom every year with gorgeous white blossoms, but this variety has dark pinkish-purple beautiful blossoms annually. It is very healthy and has filled in so lovely. This year, however, the tree blossoms were white!?! I can't find any information about a crabapple tree having dark pinkish-purple blossoms for about 17 years and then all of a sudden, this year they are white. Why would this happen? And will we ever see the pinkish-purple blossoms again? Once again, the tree is full and healthy! Thank you for any information you can provide about this.