The Malus floribunda or commonly called crabapple tree can be planted in
full sun or in partial shade. This tree grows naturally to 20-25 feet tall.
The crabapple tree is drought tolerant (like crepe myrtle tree or even more) and does well in the hot Modesto
summers. Some crabapples are used as rootstocks for domestic apples to
add beneficial characteristics, but for the most part here in Modesto they
are used for ornamental trees in the landscape. They are grown for their
fruit and beautiful flowers. But don’t eat the fruit it is very sour and in some
cases has a woody texture.
The crabapple tree is grown in planting zones 2-11. It is a deciduous tree.
In the spring the crabapple produces tons of deep pink buds that open to
fragrant white flowers.
Common Problems Of Crabapple Trees
The hybrid varieties are resistant to the four major diseases that occur in
Cedar Apple Rust creates rust spots on the foliage and, can
sometimes stunt the tree. Cedar apple rust is more of a problem
in locations where there are native cedars and junipers.
Fireblight causes significant damage to the tree. The stems will
blacken and the leaves will decline. Trim out any dead wood in
the late summer and fall to prevent any carry over of Fireblight to
the next spring.
Mildew is a problem in locations where air circulation is poor.
Scab causes the foliage to turn yellow and drop. The fruit will
have brown or black spots.
In short using a crabapple tree in your landscaping can be a great choice
of a drought tolerant tree in Modesto CA. They have lots of color and
attract butterflies and bees in the spring.