Landscape design is an important part of your home’s look and overall value, but you may not know how to maintain your lawn, shrubs, flowers and trees. Fortunately, understanding what your plants need to stay healthy and appealing will help protect your landscaping investment.

If you are one of the many homeowners who have one or more crabapple trees in your yard, you probably understand the importance of protecting this beautiful tree. With floral blooms in the spring and rich autumn colors and fanciful fruit in the fall, it is easy to see the benefits of the crabapple tree for your landscape design and home’s curb appeal.

To protect the beauty of this elegant tree, use this guide and the help of professionals who understand tree maintenance.


Crabapple trees are drought resistant, but a young tree should be watered thoroughly especially during the warmer seasons.

Make sure the soil around your tree stays moist at all times. This may require watering your tree every other day in the spring and summer months.

Consider surrounding the base of your tree with pine straw or mulch. You’ll not only add a decorative layer of color and texture but also help your tree lock in moisture.


The crabapple is an incredibly strong tree that can withstand periods of drought and heat, but a spring fertilizer can protect its underlying health so you can enjoy the tree for many years to come.

Organic fertilizers that contain nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium should be applied each spring after the last frost of the year. These fertilizers promote healthy growth in the soil while repairing any nitrogen deficiencies that can halt the growth of your tree.


Even with proper watering and fertilizing, your crabapple tree may require a periodic pruning to remove dead flowers, foliage and limbs. If left in place, decaying or rotting parts of the tree will spread quickly, affecting future growth and eventually killing the tree.

The majority of your pruning should be conducted during the dormant season, which would be in the later part of the winter season. Pruning at this time will ensure all problem parts are removed from the tree before new growth occurs in the spring.

When pruning, prune the suckers first. These are small branches that grow underground and sprout at the base of the tree. Standard pruning shears are sufficient for cutting away these thin, weak branches.

Next, you should inspect the tree for water sprouts. These thin branches grow vertically or at a slant from the main branches of the tree. Clip the sprouts off using your pruning shears to promote proper airflow through the tree’s branches.

Lastly, trim off any limbs or branches that appear discolored or decayed. Thicker branches can be sawed off close to the main trunk of the tree.

Controlling Disease/Pests

Again, the crabapple is durable and resistant to drought and disease, but you must be aware of certain diseases and pests that can harm your tree.

Apple scab disease is one of the most common issues that affect the crabapple tree. This fungal infection can spread quickly, causing dark, leathery spots on the fruit and foliage. To prevent this disease, apply fungicides to the tree as the leaves first emerge in the spring season.

If you notice brown spots and holes on the leaves, Japanese beetles may be feeding on your tree. Use shears to trim off any foliage that has been damaged by these insects. Then, apply an insecticide to the entire tree to repel beetles and other pests.

Maintaining your crabapple tree does not have to be stressful. To learn more about landscape and tree maintenance, contact Sal’s Landscape & Tree Service today.