Callaway White Crabapple TreeMalus ‘Callaway’
View more from Flowering Crabapple Trees
30 day - ARRIVE AND THRIVE™ guaranteeLearn more
Probiotic Root Stimulant
Outdoor Growing zone
The Callaway Crabapple is a tree that will reach 25 feet tall and wide, with an attractive crown of drooping branches. It is smothered in pure-white blooms in spring, followed by a crop of cherry-sized red apples in fall. It was bred for hot states, because it doesn’t need much winter cold to grow well. Plant it as a lawn specimen, at the back of shrub beds, or along a fence or boundary. Excellent disease-resistance means it stay lovely through the summer months as well.
Plant the Callaway Crabapple in full sun for the best growth and blooming. It will grow in most well-drained soils, with some drought resistance once well-established. It is self-pollinating and also makes an excellent pollinator for almost every variety of edible apple tree as well. It is very resistant to fireblight and powdery mildew, and minor pests should not be significant problems. Unlike fruiting apple trees it needs no complex pruning.
If you don’t live there, it seems that southern gardens are paradise, and that everything will grow there. If only that were true! Southern gardeners have their problems, and one of them is trying to grow ‘northern’ plants in their region. We often forget that it is not just a matter of taking the heat. Many plants that naturally grow in colder areas need long periods of low winter temperatures to grow properly, and the southern winters just aren’t cold enough to satisfy that. Take apple trees in general, and crabapples in particular. In zones 7 and 8 you need to choose your varieties carefully, or they will fail to open their flower buds in spring – what a disappointment that will be. Everyone admires the beauty of crabapples in bloom, and to achieve that look effectively in warmer states, nothing beats the Callaway Crab Apple. It will produce a glorious display of large white blossoms in spring, even with minimal winter cold. These will be followed by bunches of small red apples that besides looking great make delicious preserves, or feed the birds, as you choose. If you grow eating apples there is good news too – crabapples are ‘universal pollinators’ that will give all your apple trees bumper crops. Oh, and this tree is widely recognized as the most disease-resistant variety for the South. Sound’s good? It definitely is.
The Callaway Crabapple is a deciduous tree that grows to as much as 25 feet tall and will in time develop a broad crown equally wide. It has a central trunk, branching low-down into a multi-stem crown with a rounded, graceful profile. Although not a weeping tree, it does develop a tendency for the branches to droop gracefully, giving a lovely look to this handsome tree. The leaves are 2 to 4 inches long, oval with a pointed tip and serrated edges. They have a semi-glossy surface and a mid-green color. Fall coloring is usually yellow, with perhaps an occasional orange or red tone.
Flowering takes place in spring, along with the first leaves, with clusters of blooms on the stems and branches, covering the tree with a profusion of 1½ inch pure white blossoms – a gorgeous sight. This variety has been bred to bloom well in warm zones, because it requires only a few short periods of cool nights in winter to mature the flower buds. It will of course also bloom well in colder zones, flowering early. After blooming clusters of small, cherry-sized red fruits develop, making a lovely show in late summer and through the fall. This variety is self-pollinating, so it will fruit well if grown alone. It also pollinates almost all other varieties of apples, so it will stimulate fruit production on your eating apples as well, if you grow them. The fruit makes excellent jellies and preserves, and the left-overs will be gratefully taken by birds as winter food.
This tree is an ideal lawn specimen for a small or medium-sized garden, or planted on a larger lawn as a specimen or in an open cluster of three trees. Grow it at the back of large shrub beds, along a fence, as an avenue along a driveway, or, frankly, anywhere you can find to plant this lovely tree in your garden.
The Callaway Crabapple will grow all the way from zone 4 through zone 8, performing well everywhere.
Full sun is best for the Callaway Crabapple, although it will take a little shade when smaller, until it grows up into the light. Crabapples are tough, and it will grow in most types of soil, as long as they are well-drained and not constantly wet. Good soil preparation will get your tree off to a flying start, and regular watering when young will mean it is more drought resistant when older.
Experts agree that the Callaway Crabapple is the most disease-resistant variety for the South, and it certainly has high resistance to fireblight, a deadly disease of apple trees, and to powdery mildew, which damages the foliage in summer, making a tree unsightly. With its good resistance, this is one tree that will remain attractive through summer. Any pests are rarely major problems, and we recommend neem oil or soap sprays to control pests like aphids, mites or scale.
Crabapples don’t need the complex pruning of fruiting apples, and they are best left to grow almost naturally. Focus on developing a good open structure for the main branches, removing smaller branches that keep the center of the tree crowded. Shorten back smaller branches a little to encourage the early development of the short side stems called ‘spurs’ that carry the flowers and fruit. That’s it. Pruning should be done during dry weather, either in late winter or in the summer in cooler zones.
Fred Galle was a renowned plant expert and breeder in the middle years of the last century. He was the horticultural director at Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, Georgia from 1953 to 1979. During that time he was president of the American Horticultural Society, the Association of Botanic Gardens and Arboreta, and of other several specialized plant societies. He received the Liberty Hyde Bailey Award of the American Horticultural Society in recognition of his contributions to plants and gardening. Anxious to develop a crabapple for Southern gardens, he carried out a breeding program at the Gardens, and released the variety, ‘Callaway’ in 1954. It is also sometimes called ‘Ida Cason’.
If you live in the South, the Callaway Crabapple is for you. Even if you live in cooler parts of the country, this beautiful tree is one of the best selections for white blooms and attractive fruit, as well as having good disease resistance. We worked hard to source these trees, but our supply is limited – order now.