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Mastering others requires force.
Mastering self requires strength.
Lao Tzu

Emerald Spire Crabapple

Emerald Spire Crab. It has a closely related tree, Purple Spire Crabapple with darker leaves and much fewer blossoms. The trees at maturity are about 15 feet tall by 6 wide.


Thunderchild Buds


Thunderchild blooms

Red buds and pink flowers.


Thunderchild in full glory

I like the irregular outline of Thunderchild


Gladiator Crab


Starlight Blossoms


Dolgo fruit

Dolgo fruit, while small, are sweet enough to eat, and store very well.

Ornamental Crabapples

Spring color extravaganza

Crabs in the Edmonton region tend to bloom in early June, although in 2015 we had such an early spring they were finished by the first.

Crabapples can come in a variety of sizes, leaf colour and blossom colour. The group collectively called Rosybloom crabs have red and green leaves, and pale to dark pink lowers. The other crabs have green leaves and white flowers. All crabapples are edible, but most of the ones here have very small apples (large pea to marble sized) that stick on the tree until the winter birds clean them off. Here's a quick rundown:

Emerald Spire Crabapple This is a skinny tree. 15 feet tall x 6 wide. Like many rosyblooms the leaf colour is a mix of green and red, resulting in the front face of the leaf being a dark green with russet hints, and the back side bing a dull greyish pink. New leaves have more red at first. Flower buds are deep pink, becoming lighter pink when they open. Apples are about nickle sized.

Purple Spire Crabapple Also a skinny tree, the same size as Emerald. (The use of 'spire' in a name gives you a hint.) Same size as Emerald, but dark burgundy, almost black leaves. It doesn't flower very profusely and produces almost no fruit.

Gladiator Crabapple Glossy bronze purple leaves, dark pink flowers. 20 feet high by 10 wide, fairly even in outline.

Thunderchild Crabapple Non-glossy deep burgundy leaves, pink flowers. Thunderchild is less regular than Gladiator. It lends itself to bonsai-like garden treatments. It tends to be wider and lower than Gladiator at 15 feet high, it fits under powerlines. Crabapples are the size of a small marble.

Starlight Crabapple This is a green leaf crab, a selection of siberian crabapple. It is covered in white flowers in spring -- so much so that you can't see the leaves on some branches. Blossoms have a light floral scent. Mine buzzes softly all the while it blooms with visits from honey and bumble bees. Crabapples are tiny, about the size of a large pea.

Dolgo Crabapple Another green leaf crab and the largest crab I've got. Left to it's own devices it will get about 30 feet tall by the same wide. It's also the only one that produces decent apples: They are about ping pong ball size, and are sweet enough to eat off the tree. And they are bright red. I don't recommend this one unless you want the apples. Unlike the others, the apples don't stick to the tree over the winter. Between it's size and productivity, the apples are a nuisance to clean up in late fall if you have no use for them. However the apples keep well, are a nice snack size for small kids. (Big folk grab several) and they can well, and are good as a cider apple.

Most of my crabapples come in as decent sized trees -- about 6-9 feet tall in a #7 to #10 pot. $60 to $90 Some are available as caliper trees, 1" to 2". These cost substantially more: Longer to grow, heavier and more awkward to ship. Expect to pay 200 or more for a 2" tree (10-15 feet tall.) Occasionally I can get liners These are little trees intended for growing on. I usually have to order these in September the fall before. Drop me a line telling me what you are interested in. This year I was able to get Thunderchild as a seedling liner, and Emerald spire as a 4 ft. bare root tree.


Got something to say? Email me: sfinfo@sherwoods-forests.com

Want to talk right now? Talk to me: (8 am to 9 pm only, please) 1-780-848-2548


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Sherwood's Forests is located about 75 km southwest of Edmonton, Alberta. Please refer to the map on our Contact page for directions.