Tea Crabapple – Malus hupehensis
Tea Crabapple – Malus hupehensis, from a planting, is 23 years old
One of the most stunning trees used in the Midwestern landscape is the crabapple. Most crabapples are small trees, making them an appropriate size for most home gardens, but their spring blooming is prolific and showy. They are exciting throughout the year, with craggy branches and persistent fruits in winter.
Crabapples (Malus) are the most stunning of spring flowering trees for Midwest landscapes and are a great choice for the home garden. Many of them are small in stature and can maintain visual interest throughout the changing seasons (spring flowers, fall fruit, textured bark and craggy branches in winter).
Tea Crabapple – Malus hupehensis, Morton Arboretum acc. 107-86, photos: Bruce J. Marlin
Crabapples thrive in full sun and grow best in well drained, slightly acidic soils (pH 5.5-6.5); however, they will grow well in many soil types. Most crabapple selections tolerate the cold winters and hot, dry summers prevalent in the Midwest. For many years, crabapple cultivars have been selected on the basis of their flowers, but with some cultivars, undesirable features, such as disease problems and early fruit drop, outweigh their short-lived spring beauty. No single cultivar can fulfill every landscaping need. Consider the following information when choosing a crabapple cultivar for your landscape.