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Crabapples

I saw the crabapple tree on television last weekend. I was wondering how tall this tree grows. Also, I want to make sure that I understand correctly that it only produces small berry like fruit and not the messy crabapples that fall on the ground. I enjoy your newsletter and read them every time.

I am grateful to a nurseryman friend of mine who recommended this variety of crabapple to me called ‘Narragansett’. He described the tree with such enthusiasm I knew there could be no way for it to live up to such a high recommendation. But I would have to say that it has even surpassed his descriptions.

When the flower buds begin to swell, they are carmine red and once fully open the flower is almost pure white. So at any given time you get this beautiful combination of bud and flower in billowing drifts of petals. When they fall, the ground looks like it is covered with snow. The flowers are followed by dark green glossy leaves that show impressive disease resistance all summer long.

In the fall when the leaves turn golden yellow, they make a beautiful contrast to the apricot or reds of the tiny little apples.

Crabapples are distinguished from ordinary apples only by the size of their fruit. Any apple tree producing apples less than 2 inches in diameter is considered a crabapple. ‘Narragansett’ holds its 1/2 inch fruit through the fall and into the winter, making it less messy than other crabapples and a great source of food for the birds.

You can expect the ‘Narragansett’ crabapple to grow 15 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide.

‘Narragansett’ thrives in zones 5 through 8. Plant these crabapples in full sun for best bloom production.