University of Maryland Extension


Ellen Nibali

Malas species

Crabapple trees can to be more than a one-season wonder.  Besides fabulous spring flowers, winter trees can be red with crabapples and alive with feasting birds.  To attract birds, plant trees that produce small crabapples, less than ¾”.  Birds also favor crabapples that must freeze and thaw several times before they’re edible. Some are native plants. Good choices to attract birds include ‘Sargent’, ‘Sargent Tina’,‘Adirondack’, ‘Snowdrift’, ‘Profusion, ‘Indian Magic’, Harvest gold’, ‘Ormiston Roy’, and ‘Prairiefire’. Avoid varieites with fruit that birds are known to dislike (‘Adams’, ‘Donald Wyman,’ and ‘Red Jewel’) and those that do not fruit (‘Spring Snow’, ‘Prairie Rose’) or fruit in alternate years (such as ‘Bob White’, ‘David’, and ‘Evelyn.) Adaptable crabapples do best planted in full sun and moist, well-drained, acid loam soil. 

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