Sargent CrabappleMalus sargentii
The Sargent crab is the smallest and most shrublike of all the crabapples. It forms a rounded, dense crown with zigzag branches that become gnarled and sometimes thorny with age, spreading up to twice as wide as the tree is tall. Its bark is dark gray-brown. Routinely grown with multiple trunks, it can be trained to grow with a single trunk. The new leaves are light green with fine hairs, later turning darker green and becoming smooth. The sweetly fragrant white flowers are abundant and produced in attractive clusters in May. The bright red, pea-sized pomes hang on the tree in clusters. This tree prefers moist, acidic loam, but will grow on sites with heavier and drier soils. It can be propagated by grafting or budding, softwood cuttings taken in early summer, or by seed. Seed propagation can result in size variations. Reported to be slightly susceptible to fireblight, it is also said to be resistant to scab, leaf spot, and the attacks of Japanese beetles.