Dwarf Crabapple trees are a wonderful addition to your landscape. They stay under 10’ offering a good choice for smaller spaces when the shape of a tree is desired. Whenever I speak of Crabapples the immediate reaction is almost always negative in respect to messy fruit that people have seen on a sidewalk, in the driveway or in the yard. Large messy fruit was a common trait of the older varieties as well as disease problems leaving undesirable foliage for much of the season.
Photo credit: hz536n/George Thomas on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND
Today there are many varieties that have excellent small persistent fruit which means they remain on the tree and are less than half the size of a dime. The birds love to feed on them but even if they are not eaten these fruit shrivel to the point where there is no noticeable mess. A beautiful display of flowers covers the tree in the spring and many of these Crabapples also display excellent resistance to assorted disease problems that typically can plague those members of the Apple family. In fact suppliers generally rate Crabapples in their availability lists based on this disease resistance so we can choose exceptional varieties.
The Round Table Series™ of Dwarf Flowering Crabapples contains the following varieties as listed through Lake County Nursery in Ohio:
Pictured is the variety ‘Guinevere’ shown in full bloom in the early spring as well as the foliage during the summer. Flowering is spectacular for 2 to 3 weeks in the spring. The leaves are very attractive and remain that way all season. It does sucker as most Crabs do but can be easily trimmed off periodically. This tree has been in the ground for over 10 years and remains under 10’. Due to its location near our walkway, I prune it yearly now to control the width of the crown.
Camelot® – This selection has fragrant, fuchsia-pink blooms that are tinted white, followed by thick, leathery dark green foliage with a burgundy overcast. Gold fall foliage and brilliant rich burgundy fruit make a beautiful autumn display.
Photo credit: Amy Loves Yah on VisualHunt / CC BY
Canterbury™ – A selection out of sargentii, Canterbury™ has deep pink buds which open to light pink blooms followed by dark green foliage. Its bright red fruit are persistent and remain showy throughout the winter months.
Cinderella® – The smallest of the series, Cinderella® is a petite selection with an extremely compact and upright habit. Tiny red buds open to white flowers. It has attractive, deeply lobed foliage and abundant gold fruit in the fall. It is excellent as a top graft because of its small size; a perfect patio tree.
Excalibur™ – Rated by The Ohio State University Crabapple Evaluation Program as one of the top selected Malus for disease resistance. It is a dense, upright, compact tree with heavily spurred branches making it an excellent choice for forming a screen, hedge or barrier. Excalibur™ has single white flowers and deeply lobed light green foliage. Small gold fruit will adorn the tree in fall.
Guinevere® – This cultivar has unusual fragrant, mauve and white flowers simultaneously blooming throughout spring. It has extremely dark, lustrous, midnight-green foliage with a distinctive deep wine frost. The persistent fall fruit is bright red.
Photo credit: Clint Gardner on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-SA
Hamlet® – Spring brings a mass of deep, scarlet-red buds opening to a bold display of fragrant rosy-pink flowers. The foliage is a unique light wine-red color and its fruit is deep red in color.
Ivanhoe™ – A cross between sargentii and ‘Royalty’, Ivanhoe™ was chosen for its rose-red spring flowers and compact form. Its foliage is a deep burgundy-wine frosted in silver. Its flower and beautiful foliage make it a wonderful top graft selection. It is a perfect patio tree.
King Arthur® – The most vigorous grower of the series, it calipers fast when young, slowing with age. Its virtually maintenance free form is loaded with pastel pink buds which open to a cloud of profuse, pure white flowers. Rich, green foliage is followed by bright red autumn fruit.
Lancelot® – The most popular seller in the series, Lancelot® has a tight, upright, oval form and crisp green leaves. In spring its brilliant red buds open to snow-white blooms while in the fall it has elegant gold foliage and persistent gold fruit. It is sought after just as much in top graft form. A perfect patio tree.
Sir Galahad® II – Without a doubt, it is the best clear pink flowering crabapple. It’s striking pink flowers are followed by lustrous green foliage. Its gold fruit turns a holiday red for the winter season.