Should You Plant a Crabapple Tree Near an Apple Tree?
Fruit trees are always an excellent choice for your property, but a crabapple tree is a perfect addition to any garden or section of your yard. Even though you’ve probably never eaten a crabapple, they’re tasty and great for cooking. Furthermore, the trees can add a gorgeous pop of color to your landscaping, making them the perfect choice for an accent tree. With that in mind, knowing where to plant it is essential. Discover whether you should plant a crabapple tree near an apple tree.
Reasons To Plant a Crabapple Tree
There are countless reasons to plant a fruit tree in your yard, but a crabapple tree provides so many benefits for you and the local wildlife. Aside from being beautiful, they’re also a versatile asset to the landscaping on your property.
When looking for fruit trees for their backyard garden, most people might consider peaches, apples, or blueberries, but crabapples are less common. Follow along to learn about a few of the various reasons to plant a crabapple tree.
They Attract Pollinators
During the springtime, crabapple trees start blooming, and these flowers attract the necessary pollinators that keep the ecosystem running. Crabapple trees help save the bees by providing them with a convenient source of nectar. Furthermore, attracting pollinators to your garden could help boost the production of your other fruit and vegetable crops.
They’re Absolutely Stunning
Their stunning beauty is perhaps the most enticing reason to plant a crabapple tree, but it’s most definitely not the sole one. In fact, crabapple trees produce pink and white blossoms with incredible fragrance in the spring. Once summer hits, the tree changes to bright green foliage with beautiful fruit. In the fall, crabapple trees make yet another change to bright red, yellow, and orange foliage, leaving you with astonishing scenery.
They Produce Plenty of Fruit
Although it may take 3-5 years for your crabapple tree to mature, you should know that they produce a very large crop every year. Interestingly, you may see these fruits hanging on the tree’s branches in clusters; in fact, the tree more closely resembles a berry tree than a traditional apple tree. Because you’ll likely have way too many to use, you can leave the remaining fruits on the tree to feed wildlife such as birds, squirrels, and deer.
While traditional apple trees don’t require much maintenance to begin with, crabapple trees need even less care. Believe it or not, your crabapple tree will most likely thrive with the occasional watering during a drought and pruning of dead sections when necessary. In general, these trees are extremely pest- and disease-resistant, making them the perfect tree for someone who wants to learn how to garden but doesn’t have much experience.
Planting a Crabapple Tree Near an Apple Tree
Although you may think there’s a huge difference between apple trees and crabapple trees, they’re both of the same family. With that in mind, they’re perfect options to co-exist on your property. For instance, they both produce edible fruit, but they require another apple tree nearby for pollination. Because they’re not botanically different, crabapple trees can pollinate apple trees and vice versa.
Interestingly, the pollen from a crabapple tree doesn’t impact the quality of fruit for the apple tree. While the seeds inside the fruit will have mixed genes, the apple tree will continue to produce uniform fruit. When it comes to proximity to each other, the crabapple and apple trees shouldn’t be more than 100 feet apart to ensure proper bee pollination.
Recommended Spacing for Planting
If you have existing plants and trees in your yard or plan to plant more soon, you should consider the recommended spacing requirements for a crabapple tree. Although they don’t get too big, you should allow them enough space to thrive and flourish to the best of their ability. Read on to learn how to choose the best spot for your new tree.
Crabapple trees may grow up to 25 feet tall, which isn’t very large compared to other trees. With that in mind, they’re safe to plant under powerlines if you keep them pruned properly. Interestingly, these trees are relatively vulnerable until maturity, and their growth rate is closer to slow or moderate.
Fortunately, crabapple trees don’t have invasive root systems, but you should still consider your home foundation, sidewalks, and other permanent fixtures when planting your crabapple tree. Because they’re very low-maintenance, you should avoid planting crabapple trees near any plant or tree that requires excessive watering or fertilizer, as it can get to the crabapple root system and cause issues.
Interestingly, the canopy spread of a crabapple tree is similar to its height. Once again, you should be sure to plant it fair enough away from any permanent fixtures to avoid causing damage. Additionally, you should allow enough space between it any other plants or trees as crabapple trees require full sun exposure and proper air circulation after rainfall to prevent diseases.
Depending on the shape and size of your yard, your crabapple tree can provide adequate shade if you place it accordingly. However, you shouldn’t place it too close to outdoor social areas because the falling fruit may ruin your furniture or hit someone on the way down. Additionally, you should avoid areas too close to the road because the foliage can block the view, making it unsafe for you and other people on the road.
When Are Crabapples Ripe?
Crabapples are usually ripe in the late summer or early fall months, and just like traditional apples, they’ll change color when ripe. In fact, some varieties turn bright red, while others may turn yellow. Although you should pick them once they’re ripe, you may not want to collect all of them. Therefore, you should know that they will continue hanging on the tree for a month or more. If you leave them on the tree, the fruit will attract various animals; they can feed off of your leftover crabapples until they go bad.
Now that you know whether you should plant a crabapple tree near an apple tree, you can make the best decision when it comes to fruit trees in your yard. If you need a pollinator for your traditional apple tree, consider browsing flowering crabapple trees for sale. Although they don’t produce as much fruit, they’re the perfect option for a beautiful and also useful addition to your property.