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Sargent CrabappleMalus sargentii

  • Sargent Crabapple - Malus sargentii
  • Sargent Crabapple - Malus sargentii
This compact landscape tree is a spring star, with abundant clusters of fragrant white flowers making their appearance in May. Its dense, spreading crown and zigzagging branches add to the appeal, often making the tree wider than it is tall.

Because of its size, the Sargent crabapple is useful for planting under utility lines, in confined yards, as privacy screens and hedges, and on sloping ground. It is also a popular choice for bonsai.

Hardiness Zones

The sargent crabapple can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 4–8. View Map

Tree Type

This is a flowering tree, typically planted for its profusion of flowers.

Mature Size

The Sargent crabapple grows to a height of 6–10' and a spread of 6–12' at maturity.

Growth Speed Slow Growth Rate

This tree grows at a slow rate, with height increases of less than 12" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree, meaning it should get at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The Sargent crabapple grows in all textures of soil, alkaline to acidic. It prefers moist, well-drained soil but will tolerate drier conditions.


This tree:
  • Produces fragrant clusters of snowy white blossoms in May. It is an alternate bearer, blooming heavily every other year.
  • Is easy to transplant and grow.
  • Can be grown as a multi-stemmed or single-trunk specimen.
  • Has a dense, wide-spreading crown with zigzagging branches.
  • Features simple, oval leaves that are 2–4" long with fine serrations. Some have lobes; some do not. They start out light green, turning medium to dark green and then yellow in the fall.
  • Is often used in bonsai.
  • Yields pea-sized fruit that starts out greenish-yellow and then turns bright red, hanging in clusters and persisting into winter.
  • Is self-fertile, meaning it depends on insects such as bees to transfer pollen between flowers on the same tree.
  • Can be used to pollinate apple trees. (However, because bees tend to stay within the same flower color when foraging apple blossoms, try to match the flower color of the crabapple to the apple variety.)
  • Grows in a rounded shape.

Wildlife Value

The pea-sized fruits make is easy for birds of many species to pluck and swallow. They are especially favored by cedar waxwings, robins, grosbeaks, and mockingbirds. Red-necked pheasant, cottontail rabbit, red fox, and black bear also enjoy the fruit. The tree's dense foliage has the added value of providing protective shelter.


The name of this species comes from the man who introduced it from its native Japan in 1892, C.S. Sargent.