Sargent’s crabapple

Sargent's crabapple in full bloom.

This 6 to 10 foot dwarf crabapple can be considered a compact tree or large shrub.  In spring,  pink buds open to a profusion of fragrant, white flower clusters. The persistent, 1/3-inch red fruits attractive birds and other wildlife.  The foliage is dark green, turns yellow in the fall. and contrasts nicely with the red fruit. An excellent choice for the shrub border, in mass, or near patios.

This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.

 

Botanical name:

Malus sargentii

All Common Names:

Sargent’s crabapple

Family (English):

Rose

Family (Botanic):

Rosaceae

Tree or Plant Type:

  • Shrub,
  • Tree

Foliage:

  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Hedge,
  • Massing,
  • Mixed border,
  • Patio/sidewalk,
  • Screen,
  • Specimen

Size Range:

  • Small tree (15-25 feet),
  • Compact tree (10-15 feet),
  • Large shrub (more than 8 feet),
  • Medium shrub (5-8 feet)

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 4,
  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8

Soil Preference:

  • Acid soil,
  • Moist, well-drained soil

Season of Interest:

  • Early winter,
  • Mid winter,
  • Mid spring,
  • Mid fall,
  • Late fall

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Fragrant,
  • Pink,
  • White

Shape or Form:

  • Broad,
  • Multi-stemmed,
  • Upright

Growth Rate:

  • Moderate

More Information:

Size & form

A 6 to 10 feet high and 6 to 12 feet wide, compact tree or multi-stemmed shrub.
The zigzag, horizontal branches form a dense spreading crown that exceeds the height as plant matures.

Tree & Plant Care

Best in full sun, pH adaptable, tolerant of occasional wet or dry soils.
Prune after flowering.

Disease, pest, and problems

Fireblight,  cedar rusts, apple scab, powdery mildew, and japanese beetles are potential problems for crabapples in general.

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

This plant has excellent resistance to diseases such as scab, mildew, and rust.  It also has good resistance to fire blight.
Some resistance to Japaanese beetles.

Native geographic location and habitat

Japan

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Simple, alternate leaves. The dark green leaves vary in shape without or with three lobes.
Yellow fall color contrasts nicely with persistent fruit.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Pale pink buds open up to clusters of fragrant white flowers.
Flowers profusely, often in alternate years. 

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Persistent, 1/3 to 1/2 inch red crabapples.

Cultivars and their differences 

Tina ( Malus sargentii 'Tina'): Not always recognized as a Sargent's crabapple cultivar.  This compact, low spreading form reaches 3 to 4 feet high and 5 to 6 feet wide. White flowers; red persistent fruit; good disease resistance.

Location of Malus sargentii (Sargent’s crabapple) at the Arboretum