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Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.
Winston Churchill

Ornamental Crabapples

Spring color extravaganza

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


Double blossoms stand out from the crowd.

Gladiator Crab

Gladiator Crabapple.


Starlight Blossoms

Starlight and Spring Snow both have a ton of flowers in spring. Starlight is favoured by bees.

Dolgo fruit

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

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.


Most are easy care trees. At least half sun during the day. Likes moist, but not soggy soil.

Do not over fertilize or over water, as it makes them more susceptible to fireblight. Try to avoid leaf wetting, as it promotes apple scab, a fungal disease that results in blotchy looking leaves. Rake up leaves and fruit in fall to reduce apple scab overwintering. This will mean pruning the tree when young to give adequate room to mow and rake underneath.

Prune the tree to have a somewhat open crown. You should be able to see through it, and the ground underneath should have spots of sun. Youtube has lots of videos about pruning apple trees.


If you don't want to deal with fruit, select the sterile or pea sized fruit trees. These tend to keep their fruit on the tree all winter if not found by birds. Most crabs produce marble sized fruit, which tend to disappear into the lawn. A few produce 1" fruit.

Fruit from the rosybloom crabs can stain decks and walks if crushed. This bleaches out after a few weeks of sun.

Fruit can be used for jelly. Or you can collect it, freeze it, and put it on a platform bird feeder for our winter birds who are also fruit eaters.

Here's a quick rundown of types. I don't have stock for all of them every year. (See blue table below) If you want one not in the table, ask.

Brandywine Crabapple New for 2019 Brandywine is a double flowered (lots of petals) that are rich pink in colour. Rounded crown. I got mine last fall. We'll see how they wintered. (Fall 2020: They wintered fine, and put on a good show this summer) Fruit is about 1" and is yellow green. Adapts well to our somewhat alkaline prairie soil. Mature size 20x20. Zone 3, some reports 4.

Emerald Spire Crabapple This is a skinny tree. 20 feet tall x 6-8 wide. It's a narrow vase shape with the widest part at the top.. 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 silver pink. New leaves have more red at first. Flower buds are deep pink, becoming lighter pink when they open. Apples are about nickle sized. Zone 2.

Purple Spire Crabapple Also a skinny tree, somewhat skinnier than Emerald. (The use of 'spire' in a name gives you a hint.) Leaves are dark burgundy, almost black leaves. Originally I bought into it because I was told that it didn't flower much and didn't have much fruit. Someone didn't tell my trees. While not as prolific as Emerald spire, calling this 'nearly fruitless' is a stretch. My apologies to previous customers who bought it for this. Mature size 20 x 6. Zone 3.

Royal Beauty Crabapple A smaller accent tree with a weeping form with red bronze leaves and small red crabapples that persist into winter. Special order. Mature sizes 9' x 6' Zone 2.

Royal Mist Crabapple A broadly columnar tree with red/burgundy leaves, fuschia pink flowers in late spring. This is the result of a cross between Thunderchild and Shaughnessy Cohen. Improved disease resistance. Mature size 20' x 9' Zone 2.

Shaughnessy Cohen Red tinted leaves and deep pink flowers on a rounded crown. One of the earliest crabs to leaf out in spring. One of the larger trees at maturity. Mature size 25 x 20. Zone 2

Gladiator Crabapple Glossy bronze purple leaves, dark pink flowers. fairly even in outline. Upright oval crown. Mature size 20' x 13'. Zone 2

**Pink Spires Crabapple. Red purple leaves in early spring, maturing to green during the summer, and reverting back to burgundy in the fall. Lavender pink flowers. Small red crabapples in fall. Mature size is 20' x 12' Zone 2.

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 it requires only a small offset to fit under a powerline. Crabapples are the size of a small marble. Upright spreading crown Mature size 20 x 15.

Green leaf Crabapples

Starlight Crabapple A selection of siberian crabapple with glossy green leaves. 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, and stay on the tree. Mature size 25 x 15. Zone 2

Spring Snow Crabapple Another cultivar of Siberian crabapple, this one is sterile, and does not produce fruit, but produces masses of fragrant white flowers in spring. Mature size 25' x 20' Zone 2

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.

Siberian Crabapple Siberian crabs have white blossoms, often so many you can’t see the leaves. Forms a small tree, much narrower than most members of the apple family. Like most trees from Siberia it regards our winters as a beach party.

The fruit is supposed to make good jelly but is very tart. The apples are tiny -- about the size of a large pea. They stay on the tree into winter until discovered by birds.

This tree is often used as a root stock for other apples.

Leaf -- Crabapple

(# plants)
Crabapple, Brandywine #8 Std pot (24 qt) 3 $90.00
Crabapple, Emerald Spire #10 Growbag (42 qt) 20 $120.00
Crabapple, Emerald Spire #15 Std pot (45 qt) -1 $140.00
Crabapple, Emerald Spire 2.5 in. Caliper Amaroo Tree Box (100 liter) 2 $425.00
Crabapple, Gladiator Rosybloom #10 Growbag (42 qt) 6 $120.00
Crabapple, Gladiator Rosybloom #10 Std pot (30 qt) -5 $90.00
Crabapple, Gladiator Rosybloom #15 Std pot (45 qt) 2 $140.00
Crabapple, Gladiator Rosybloom #8 Std pot (24 qt) -2 $90.00
Crabapple, Jeffries Rootstock #2 Std pot (6 qt) 46 $30.00
Crabapple, Purple Spire #10 Growbag (42 qt) 20 $120.00
Crabapple, Purple Spire #10 Std pot (30 qt) 2 $90.00
Crabapple, Royal Mist #10 Growbag (42 qt) 4 $160.00
Crabapple, Royal Mist #15 Std pot (45 qt) -1 $140.00
Crabapple, Siberian #5 Std pot (15 qt) 30 $30.00
Crabapple, Spring Snow #8 Std pot (24 qt) 10 $90.00
Crabapple, Starlite Flowering #10 Growbag (42 qt) -2 $120.00
Crabapple, Thunderchild #10 Growbag (42 qt) 28 $120.00
Crabapple, Thunderchild #15 Std pot (45 qt) 1 $140.00
Last Update: 2020-Aug-26

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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.