Spring snow crabapple tree

Spring Snow Crabapple

Planting & Care for Crabapple Trees


  • Best grown in medium moisture, well-drained, acidic loams in full sun.
  • Adapts to a wide range of soils.
  • Established trees have some drought tolerance.
  • Plant as a specimen/accent or in small groups.
  • Plant in spring or fall.
  • Be sure to space plants 10 to 20 feet apart, depending on the expected mature size of the variety.

Opening Plant Material

  • Bare Root – Cut open the bundle (top and roots are tied) and separate all the plants. Soak roots in buckets of water until planted. Each plant type will be labeled separately for identification. Do not expose the roots to sun. They should never dry out. Keep roots covered. All bare-root plants must be trimmed when planted.
  • Grow Bags – Remove bag by using a utility knife to slit up the side and peel off the fabric exposing the soil and roots.
  • B&B – Soak the root ball very well.
  • Scroll down to an orange rectangular box and click on “Handling & Plant Guidelines” for illustration on planting each of these types.

Planting Bare Root

  • Plant Bare root in spring. A good indicator if you can still plant is if the ground is still workable you’re good to go. If a hard frost is expected be sure to hold off on planting.
  • Dig a hole at least 6″ wider and the same depth as the root mass. The crown or graft of the plant should be slightly higher than ground level where it was grown at the nursery.
  • Trim off the broken roots and branches.
  • Place fertilizer packets in hole (if purchased). Do not place other fertilizers in the planting hole. *Use Our Recommended Fertilizer.
  • Spread the roots and fill halfway with soil, then water until soil settles completely saturating the soil and planting pit.
  • Re-adjust plant and fill the hole with the rest of the soil.
  • Back fill the balance of the soil and water well.
  • See our link below “Handling & Planting Guidelines” for illustrations on planting.

Planting Grow Bags

  • Plant grow bags in spring or fall.
  • Plant the root ball just like you would a container plant. No trimming of roots is necessary for grow bags.
  • Notice where the base of the trunk flairs out from the tree. This is called the root flair. This root flair should show when the tree is planted. If necessary, add soil under the ball so the root flair is exposed.
  • Place fertilizer packets into the bottom of the hole (if purchased). *Use Our Recommended Fertilizer.
  • Backfill the hole with soil, making sure the top of the root ball is visible and slightly higher than the soil around it.
  • Firm the soil around the plant. Water well to settle soil around the root ball.

Planting B&B trees

  • Plant B&B trees in spring or fall. A good indicator if you can still plant is if the ground is still workable you’re good to go. If a hard frost is expected be sure to hold off on planting.
  • Dig a hole at least 6″ wider and no deeper than the size of the ball on the plant. Rotate the plant to the proper position. Never lift or move trees by the tops.
  • Notice where the base of the trunk flairs out from the tree. This is called the root flair. This root flair should show when the tree is planted. If necessary, add soil under the ball so the root flair is exposed.
  • Place fertilizer packets into the bottom of the hole (if purchased). *Use Our Recommended Fertilizer
  • Backfill ½ of the hole with soil and completely saturate the soil with water.
  • Once the tree is straight and located as desired, cut and remove twine. Then, remove or bend back top ⅓ of metal basket. Lastly, remove exposed burlap from top of ball
  • Fill the hole to the top of the ball with soil, then soak well with water and let settle.
  • The top of the root ball should be visible and slightly higher than the soil around it.
  • Add mulch on top of soil making sure to not put mulch against the trunk or stems.
  • See our link below “Handling & Planting Guidelines” for illustrations on planting.

Pruning – After Planting

  • Bare Root – Prune ALL bare root plants to reduce transplant shock and ensure success. Pruning should occur either before or as soon after planting as possible. All pruning should be done with a sharp pruning shears.
  • B&B & Grow Bags – Although it is not essential for B&B or grow bags to be pruned after planting, a light pruning for shape, to remove any broken branches from shipping, or to thin out a heavily branched plant will help in the transplanting process and in the appearance of your new planting.

Pruning – Through-out the Season

  • Although some flowers may be lost, it is best to prune this tree as needed in late winter. Spring pruning should be avoided as it produces fresh, open cuts where fireblight bacterium can enter.

Watering – After Planting

  • Plants typically take approximately 6 weeks to establish new roots in your soil. During this period, water plants as often as every 2-4 days at the start and at least a minimum of once per week.
  • Beyond the 6 week establishment period, water once per week, unless rains occur.
  • Stick your finger into the soil around 3” to check soil moisture.

Watering – Through-out the Season

  • After the first season, plants should only be watered during extended periods without rain.
  • How do you know if your plants need water? The easiest way to tell is to touch the soil around the roots. If it is moist, there is no need to water. If it is dry, give it a good soaking with the hose end (no nozzle) watering the soil only, not the leaves.
  • Stick your finger into the soil around 3” to check soil moisture.

Go to our “Plant Features & Video Tab” for more information & tips on caring and maintaining this plant.

Spring Snow Crabapple

You’ll fall deeply in love with this pretty, fruit-less flowering Crabapple. Spring Snow Crabapple (Malus ‘Spring Snow’) explodes with stunning fragrant white flowers in spring. The blooms are held profusely along its branches right to the tips. It’s a marvelous display of pristine white flowers!

Spring Snow was a breakthrough “fruitless” variety that does not produce any crabapples at all. You don’t have to worry about messy fruit on your patio, courtyard, driveway or sidewalk.

You’ll love this tree all year-long. Spring Snow Crabapple features a crisp, clean, and classic upright oval form. It can be used in many different ways throughout your landscape.

After the yummy-smelling, white spring blooms are done, the tree develops shiny, bright green leaves. You’ll enjoy their refreshing shade all summer long.

The foliage turns yellow in the fall—a bright harvest shade for seasonal decoration. And this hardy flowered Crabapple is one of the best ornamental trees for winter interest. The erect branches catch the snow for a marvelous sight in winter.

This pretty tree has excellent resistance to diseases that were faced by old-fashioned Crabs. This is truly an improved variety and is much more refined and disease free compared to the older selections.

An extremely uniform outline without pruning, a massive white cloud of bloom in spring, shiny green foliage all summer, and a fruitless selection that is hardy and easy to grow in most soils. What could be better? Order your Spring Snow today!

How to Use Spring Snow Crabapple in the Landscape

Crabapples are grown for the incredible flower display each spring all along the branches. People love using them as a specimen plant, to accent their homes, or as a focal point in a garden.

Spring Snow is fruitless, so it opens the door for being used near sidewalks, driveways, patios. They look fantastic on larger properties or commercial buildings, too.

Many times, you’ll see them used in larger informal groups of all the same variety. Why not try planting it in a group of Crabapples with similar size and form, but with a different flower color?

Use as an accent in a foundation planting. Place it at the corner of your house to anchor the design. Site it at least 15 feet from the exterior for easy maintenance.

Spring Snow is a low-branched tree, so keep in mind that it will block a view. Create a formal hedge planting as a privacy fence, or the walls of an outdoor room. Plant them 10 feet apart, measuring from the trunk of one to the trunk of the next. The canopies will grow together and form a solid screen.

Keep lower branches on the trees if you want a large, flowering privacy screen. Or, limb them back to the main trunk for an ornamental allee—or double row—on either side of your driveway or the entrance of an outdoor kitchen.

They would make a terrific backdrop for a formal garden focal point. Flank on either side of an arbor or pergola. Use along your pool deck in a wide mulched bed, in a berm planting or in your mixed border.

White flowering Spring Snow is also a great candidate to add color in front of a large evergreen windbreak or in a shelterbelt. The blooms will be very showy against the dark evergreen foliage.

Plant Spring Snow as a nice row of street trees, but please site them to the inside of your front sidewalk. Municipalities like using them as street trees where not a lot of road salt is being used. Excessive exposure to road salt will not be well tolerated by Spring Snow.

#ProPlantTips for Care

Plant Spring Snow in a location with full sun and well-drained soil. Planting at the proper depth in a sunny, well drained site is the way to keep Crabapples happy.

The only pruning that should be done is to carefully train lower branches, or to remove any crossing or damaged branches. Prune it while it’s dormant in late winter.

Give it full sun and well-drained soil for best performance. Plan to provide regular supplemental water if adequate rainfall isn’t sufficient. Crabapples tolerate cold winters, hot summers and even short periods of drought after they are established.

It isn’t fussy about soil conditions, as long as water drains quickly. They can even thrive in urban environments.

Place your order for Spring Snow Crabapple and grace your landscape with the most beautiful white flower display next spring!

Spring Snow Flowering Crabapple Tree

Stunning Crabapple Blooms Without the Mess!

Love Flowering Crabapple trees but hate the mess the fruit leaves behind? Look no further than the Spring Snow Flowering Crabapple.

Most Crabapple trees leave behind a huge mess at the end of autumn when all the fruit has fallen…

But the Spring Snow Crabapple bears no fruit, meaning you’ll have no mess to clean up and less diseases and pests to worry about!

This fruitless tree gives you ornamental value through every season…

· Snowy white blooms in spring – the tree explodes with fragrant, white blooms on short stalks, giving it the appearance of garland hanging from the branches.

· Dense summer foliage – deep green leaves densely cover the entire canopy in the warmest months

· Bright yellow fall show – foliage turns yellow in autumn, presenting a radiant fall spectacle

· Interesting branches in winter – the unique growing pattern of the branches show off sculptural interest during its dormancy

Extremely tolerant and adaptable, you can grow this tree in practically any condition in zones 3-7.

Often used as a street tree or on the medians of highways, the Spring Snow is perfect for urban landscapes.

Naturally dwarf with low branches and a dense canopy, it looks amazing in small yards or grouped together in large landscapes.

Mess-free, absolutely gorgeous, and very tolerant, the Spring Snow is a sought-after Crabapple. Don’t miss your chance to grow your own… Order yours now!

Planting & Care

The Spring Snow Flowering Crabapple performs best in nearly any condition as long as it receives full sun. Plant in a hole twice as wide but just as deep as the root ball. Once planted, cover the ground with a thick layer of mulch.

Watering: As soon as you plant your tree, saturate it with water. If you live in a hot or dry area, water your Spring Snow twice a week until it is established. Other climates can water once a week, achieving 1 inch of water each week. Once established, only water as needed during long periods of drought.

Pruning: Prune off dead or diseased branches in late winter after the coldest months have passed, but before the spring blooms appear.

Pests: Check your tree frequently for any mites or aphids. A strong stream of water will get rid of these pests. Keeping your tree well maintained will help prevent against borers.

Disease: If you see any signs of disease on your crabapple, including leaves that fall too early or have spots, blisters or browned edges, you should treat your tree promptly. Avoiding doing so can greatly shorten the life of your tree. Sterile pruning and a fungicide treatment are the best measures to stop disease before it takes over the tree.

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The Starlite Crabapple is a Diamond in the Rough

As a beautiful accent specimen, with fragrant white flowers, colorful red fruit, and fabulous foliage, the Starlite Crabapple is a diamond in the rough. When seeking a cold hardy and disease tolerant option, reach for the stars and upgrade from the ‘Spring Snow’ crabapple to the ‘Starlite’ crabapple.

Precious Stone

The dense, dark green, glossy foliage of the Starlite Crabapple tree provides a calming, natural feel. With an upward, round, and stately growth habit, expect a moderate growth rate with minimal pruning requirements. The hardy Starlite is an excellent tree for use in the landscape or as a specimen tree.

Starlight Crabapple Leaves

Plant this deciduous flowering tree to fill in a landscape, to insert a fresh deep green color in the spring, with a burst of white flowers. Come autumn, the sunshiny yellow fall color adds interest when used as a specimen or shade tree. This medium sized crabapple tree grows to a height of 25 feet tall, and 15 feet wide. The Starlite Crabapple is appreciated for exceptional disease resistance, including scab resistance.

A True Gem

The Starlite Crabapple tree is a newer variety, and an excellent upgrade to the Spring Snow crabapple. This cold-tolerant zone 2 tree is low maintenance, and can be grown in partial shade to full sun, flourishing in temperatures up to -40°. If pruning becomes necessary, shape in late winter, avoiding periods of extreme cold. Compared to the Spring Snow, advanced disease resistance is evident in crisp and clean foliage all season long.

This hardy tree offers delicate and fragrant white flowers in the spring, followed by persistent candy-red fruit, emerging in the summer time. These tiny red fruits dot the canopy, adding a depth of color and texture, lingering throughout the winter. Anticipate the sweet sounds of delight as songbirds welcome the showy fruits into late fall. A lovely yellow hue emerges on the shiny, pointed leaves as autumn comes around the corner.

Excellent Disease Resistance

When seeking a resilient and disease resistant crabapple tree, look no further than the Starlite Crabapple. This hardy specimen stands up to the elements as an accent, shade, and landscaping tree. With low canopy clearance, the easily maintained Starlite can be used for general garden use or in urban street landscapes. The abundant and significant white flowers are a true highlight for many spectators.

Starlite Crabapple trees at Garden Gate in Pasco Wa starting to turn.

A wide adaptability to various soil conditions and high tolerance to urban pollution make this tree an easy choice for most landscaping needs. Grow the Starlite Crabapple tree in average to moist soil conditions. Superior fireblight and scab resistance is also an excellent bonus, especially when compared to other crabapples. The ascending branching pattern is perfect for landscape use, compared the wider, rounded crown of the previous favorite, the Spring Snow.


Admire the Starlite Crabapple tree for its calming, natural beauty and cheery year round interest. Candy-red fruit and fragrant white flowers highlight beautifully dense foliage with fall color. Exceptional disease resistance makes the Starlite Crabapple tree a diamond in the rough.

Starlight Crabapple trees at Garden Gate in Boring Oregon, still bright and green.

Find more info from Jefferies Nursery Brochure.

Malus x ‘Spring Snow’: ‘Spring Snow’ Crabapple1

Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson2


‘Spring snow’ crabapple is unusual in that it is typically fruitless. Its use should be limited in areas where scab, fireblight, or rust is a problem. The dense, oval crown grows to about 25 to 30 feet tall and 15 to 20 feet wide. Early pruning to remove lower branches and purchasing tree-form specimens at the nursery can usually ensure that pruning requirement can be kept to a minimum.

Figure 1.

Middle-aged Malus x ‘Spring Snow’: ‘Spring Snow’ Crabapple


Ed Gilman, UF/IFAS

General Information

Scientific name: Malus x Pronunciation: MAY-lus Common name(s): ‘Spring nnow’ crabapple Family: Rosaceae USDA hardiness zones: 3A through 8A (Fig. 2) Origin: not native to North America Invasive potential: little invasive potential Uses: espalier; street without sidewalk; tree lawn 3-4 feet wide; tree lawn 4-6 feet wide; tree lawn > 6 ft wide; parking lot island < 100 sq ft; parking lot island 100-200 sq ft; parking lot island > 200 sq ft; specimen; deck or patio; urban tolerant; highway median; bonsai Availability: not native to North America Figure 2.



Height: 25 to 30 feet Spread: 15 to 20 feet Crown uniformity: symmetrical Crown shape: oval, upright/erect Crown density: dense Growth rate: moderate Texture: medium


Leaf arrangement: alternate (Fig. 3) Leaf type: simple Leaf margin: serrate, serrulate, crenate Leaf shape: elliptic (oval) Leaf venation: pinnate, brachidodrome Leaf type and persistence: deciduous Leaf blade length: less than 2 inches, 2 to 4 inches Leaf color: green Fall color: yellow Fall characteristic: not showy Figure 3.



Flower color: white/cream/gray Flower characteristics: very showy


Fruit shape: no fruit Fruit length: no fruit Fruit covering: no fruit Fruit color: no fruit Fruit characteristics: no fruit

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: branches droop; not showy; typically multi-trunked; thorns Pruning requirement: little required Breakage: resistant Current year twig color: brown, reddish Current year twig thickness: thin, medium Wood specific gravity: unknown


Light requirement: full sun Soil tolerances: clay; sand; loam; acidic; alkaline; well-drained; occasionally wet Drought tolerance: moderate Aerosol salt tolerance: low


Roots: not a problem Winter interest: no Outstanding tree: no Ozone sensitivity: unknown Verticillium wilt susceptibility: resistant Pest resistance: sensitive to pests/diseases

Use and Management

Plants are used for specimens, patios, and along streets to create a warm glow of color each spring. They are attractive during the summer, bearing glossy green foliage. A row of crabapples along each side of the street or median strip can “make” a neighborhood. Select plants which have been grafted onto EMLA 106 or 111 rootstock to reduce root suckering.

It is best grown in a sunny location with good air circulation and have no particular soil preferences, except soil should be well drained. Crabapple is well-adapted to compacted urban soil, tolerates drought and poor drainage well and is somewhat tolerate of salt-spray. Well adapted to all areas within its hardiness zone range, including Texas and Oklahoma. Do not overfertilize since this could increase the incidence of disease. Select only from more disease-resistant cultivars if scab, fireblight or rust is a problem in the area. Root-pruned trees appear to transplant most easily. Crabapples grow well in the Texas panhandle but are not extremely drought tolerant and are not well suited for high pH soil.

According to the Ornamental Crabapple Society, Malus spp. adapted for street tree and urban use include ‘Adams’, ‘Bob White’, ‘David’, ‘Donald Wyman’, ‘Profusion’, ‘Red Splendor’ and Malus floribunda. Be sure to specify tree form plants for street tree use since branching may be too low on trees grown for specimen use. Contact the Ornamental Crabapple Society, Morton Arboretum, Lisle, Illinois 60532 for more information on crabapples.

Other white flowered cultivars include: ‘Baccata Columnaris’—narrow crown, white flowers, red or yellow fruit; ‘Baccata Gracilis’—slow-growing, shrub-like, white flowers, fruit small and dark red, annual bearer; ‘Baccata Jackii’—upright form, white flowers, bright red fruit, annual bearer, also good to excellent disease resistance; ‘Callaway’—pink buds, white flowers, red fruit; ‘David’—pink buds open to white flowers, scarlet fruit, good to excellent disease resistance; ‘Dolgo’—pink buds, white flowers, large red fruits; ‘Donald Wyman’—disease-resistant but susceptible to fire blight, glossy red showy fruit; ‘Ellwangeriana’—red fruit, disease-resistant; ‘Floribunda’—pink to red bud opens to single white flower, yellow or red fruit – commonly available; ‘Gloriosa’—pink bud opens to white flower, red, large fruit; ‘Golden Hornet’—upright arching habit, white flower, yellow fruit; ‘Gorgeous’—pink bud opens to large, white flower, red to orange fruit; ‘Harvest Gold’—white flowers followed by yellow fruits; ‘Hupehensis’—tea crabapple – pink buds open to white flowers, greenish fruit; ‘Katherine’—double flowers opening pink, fading to white, fruit yellow and red; ‘Mary Potter’—pink buds open to single white flowers, red and fairly large fruit, susceptible to scab and powdery mildew; ‘Red Jade’—weeping habit, white flowers, red fruit persisting after leaves drop; ‘Sargenti’—dwarf, pink bud opens to white flowers, small dark red fruit; ‘Snowdrift’—white flowers, orange red fruit; ‘Tanner’—white flowers, red fruits, susceptible to diseases; ‘Tschonoski’—white flowers, vigorous growth, good bronze red fall color, fruit brownish; ‘White Angel’—white flowers, glossy red fruit persisting into winter; ‘White Candle’—pink buds open to white flowers, red fruit, upright growth habit; ‘Zumi Calocarpa’—white flowers, bright red persistent fruit.

One of the best Crabapples for the south is Malus x Callaway.


Aphids infest branch tips and suck plant juices, and are quite common. They can deform newly emerging foliage and secret honey dew creating a sticky mess beneath the tree, but will not kill the tree.

Fall webworm makes nests on the branches and feeds on foliage inside the nest. Small nests can be pruned out or sprayed with Bacillus thuringiensis. Controlling severe infestations may require other chemicals.

Scales of various types are controlled with horticultural oil.

Borers can be a problem on stressed trees.

Mites are too small to see easily so they can cause much foliage discoloration before being detected. Mites can be controlled to a degree with horticultural oil, but other chemicals are often required by the time mites are detected. The mite infestation can also be severe by the time foliage chlorosis or bronzing is evident.

Eastern tent caterpillar builds tents or nests in trees in early summer or late spring. Feeding occurs on foliage outside the nest. Defoliation can be extensive if infestation is severe, and repeated defoliations for several years can weaken trees. Small nests can be removed by pruning them from the tree. Spray with Bacillus thuringiensis or other approved chemical. Do not burn nests while they are still in the tree.


Fairly susceptible to disease.

Scab infection takes place early in the season and dark olive green spots appear on the leaves. In late summer the infected leaves fall off when they turn yellow with black, spots. Infected fruits have black, slightly raised spots. Use resistant varieties to help avoid this severe problem.

Fire blight susceptible trees have blighted branch tips, particularly when the tree is growing rapidly. Leaves on infected branch tips turn brown or black, droop, and hang on the branches. The leaves look scorched as by a fire. The trunk and main branches become infected when the bacteria are washed down the branches. Cankers form and are separated from adjacent healthy bark by a crack. The infected bark may be shredded. Use resistant cultivars when available since severe infections on susceptible trees can kill the tree.

Powdery mildew coats leaves with white fungal growth resembling powder.

Cedar apple rust causes brown to rusty-orange spots on the leaves. Badly spotted leaves fall prematurely, and defoliation can be heavy. Redcedars (Juniperus virginiana) are the alternate host.

Crabapples are subject to several canker diseases. Prune out infected branches, avoid unnecessary wounding, and keep trees healthy.


This document is ENH-555, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date November 1993. Revised December 2006. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; Dennis G. Watson, former associate professor, Agricultural Engineering Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county’s UF/IFAS Extension office.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.

Spring Snow Crabapple Care: How To Grow A Spring Snow Crabapple Tree

‘Spring Snow’ gets its name from the fragrant white blossoms that cover the small crabapple tree in spring. They contrast brilliantly with the bright green of the foliage. If you are looking for a fruitless crabapple, you might want to think about growing ‘Spring Snow’ crabapples. Read on for tips on how to grow a ‘Spring Snow’ crabapple (Malus ‘Spring Snow’) and other information.

Spring Snow Crabapple Information

Is a crabapple tree that doesn’t produce crabapples still a crabapple tree? It is, and anyone growing ‘Spring Snow’ crabapples appreciate the fruitless trees.

Many gardeners do not grow crabapple trees for the fruit. Unlike crisp, delicious apple or pears, crabapples are not popular as off-the-tree snacks. The fruit is sometimes used for jams, but less these days than yesteryear.

And ‘Spring Snow’ crabapple trees offer the ornamental benefits of crabapples trees. The plant grows as an upright tree to 20 feet (6 m.) tall and 25 feet (7.6 m.) wide. The branches form an attractive, rounded canopy that is symmetrical and provides some summer shade. The tree is covered by bright green, oval leaves that turn yellow in autumn before falling.

The most attractive feature of ‘Spring Snow’ crabapple trees are the flowers. They appear in spring, very white and very showy – just like snow. The blossoms offer a sweet fragrance as well.

‘Spring Snow’ Crabapple Care

If you are wondering how to grow a ‘Spring Snow’ crabapple tree, you’ll find they grow best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 8a. The tree grows best in full sunshine, although ‘Spring Snow’ crabapple trees accept most types of well-draining soil.

You won’t have to worry about the roots of these crabapple trees. They rarely, if ever, cause issues by pushing up sidewalks or foundations. On the other hand, you may have to prune out the lower branches. This will be an important part of its care if you need access below the tree.

Crabapple trees grow well in compacted soil in urban areas. They tolerate drought quite well and even wet soil from time to time. The trees are somewhat tolerate of salt spray too.

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