Japanese Flowering Crabapple

Malus x floribunda

Japanese Flowering Crabapple

Malus x floribunda

This product is currently out of stock and unavailable.


How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me


The Japanese Flowering Crabapple is a classic flowering tree for spring, guaranteed to deliver a profusion of blooms that will make spring special. The bare branches will be covered in clusters of dark red buds that open to light pink blossoms, making one of the most beautiful spring displays possible. A good substitute for Japanese flowering cherry trees in colder zones, with the bonus of a bright display of dark red, cherry-like fruits in fall. The dark-green leaves turn yellow and red in fall. A large tree with a 30-foot spread, plant it in open spaces, on lawns or at the back of shrub beds.

  • Profuse blooming with red buds and pink blossoms
  • Big crop of small, cherry-like, red fruits in fall
  • Easily grown for a reliable spring display
  • Broad spreading specimen tree for open spaces
  • Very cold-hardy replacement for flowering cherry trees

Full sun is best for the Japanese Flowering Crabapple, which grows in almost any well-drained soil. Established trees have moderate resistance to normal summer drought. This tree is hardy in zone 4, flowers from an early age, and is easy to grow. Although it can develop some leaf diseases, these are not serious. No special pruning is needed or desirable – the natural form is best.

Plant Hardiness Zones 4-8
Mature Width 20-30
Mature Height 15-20
Zones 4-8

Nothing lifts our hearts so much as the sight of flowering trees in spring. The magical way they burst into bloom after months of dead-looking bare branches is a miracle that never ceases to move us. In many parts of the country this look comes from flowering cherry trees, but in colder areas flowering crabapples step in, creating a wonderful display, often with the added bonus of colorful miniature apples, which can even be used for preserves. Just as our best flowering cherry trees came from Japan, whose love of natural beauty is renowned, so one of our best crabapples is the Japanese Flowering Crabapple. Considered one of the very best crabapple trees, it has a marvelous display of red buds opening to a profusion of pink flowers. Then in fall we can admire the beautiful crop of cherry-like crabapples, hanging in abundance from the branches. A truly great tree, considered by many to be the most beautiful crabapple of them all, it grows well in both cold and warm zones, and brings the profusion and joy of spring to everyone.

Growing the Japanese Flowering Crabapple

Size and Appearance

The Japanese Flowering Crabapple is a deciduous tree with a broad spreading crown. It grows 15 to 20 feet tall when mature, with a spread over 20 feet, that can even reach 30 feet. Don’t underestimate its final size when planting, and don’t plant underneath overhead wires, or closer than 15 feet to buildings, roads or property lines. It has a central trunk that branches low down into numerous spreading limbs, which is why a mature tree is often wider than it is tall. The smooth, brown bark becomes more rugged and textured with age, forming flaking plates in different shades of brown and gray. The leaves are oval with a serrated edge, about 3 inches long, and dark green. In fall they turn yellow and red.

Flower buds form all along the branches, and this is an amazingly prolific tree for the profusion of its flowers – ‘each branch a garland’ as one expert put it. Flowering usually begins in April or May, depending on your growing zone, and a tree of the Japanese Flowering Crabapple in bloom is one of the great joys of spring. Clusters of up to 7 buds form on short spurs along the branches, and when spring comes these buds become an intense dark pink color. The flowers open to show a clear, light pink interior, and each bloom is over an inch across. The contrast between the dark buds and the pale open flowers is striking, charming and very beautiful. As the flowers age they turn paler, so when the petals fall they are almost pure white. The flowers are followed by clusters of tiny apples on long stems, like cherries. These are pale green over summer, turning light yellow, and then, by fall, they have matured to a dark red. The profusion of fruits makes a charming sight, and they can be harvested for delicious jellies that will be aromatic and bright pink. Birds usually take them by early winter.

Using the Japanese Flowering Crabapple in Your Garden

This is a tree for larger spaces, so always allow enough room for its maturity. Place it at the back of large shrub beds, on a lawn as a specimen, at the edges of woodlands, and in open spaces. A pair flanking an entrance gateway would be a wonderful sight in spring.


Hardy in zone 4, this is an excellent tree for cooler zones, flowering well all the way into zone 8.

Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions

Plant your Japanese Flowering Crabapple where it will be in full sun. It grows easily in most soils that are not very poor and sandy, and it needs well-drained ground. It has good resistance to summer drought in cooler areas, but benefits from a deep soaking from time to time, especially when young.

Maintenance and Pruning

Although some leaf diseases like mildew and scab may be seen, these are not serious or life-threatening. This tree has some resistance to fire blight. Unlike apples grown for fruit, no pruning is needed. We recommend removing a few inner branches while it is young, to develop an open crown with good branch structure. If you do need to trim your tree, do it during dry weather in summer.

History and Origin of the Japanese Flowering Crabapple

This tree is not found growing wild – it was found in gardens in Japan in the 19th century and first described and introduced perhaps around 1850 by Phillip Von Siebold, a German doctor and botanist who collected plants in Japan, as well as spreading Western medical practices there. The Japanese Flowering Crabapple is generally believed to be a hybrid tree – a cross between two Asian crabapple species, Malus baccata and Malus sieboldii, also called Malus toringo.

Buying the Japanese Flowering Crabapple at the Tree Center

The Japanese Flowering Crabapple is a true classic, and a wonderful highlight of spring. You might not be able to enjoy Japanese cherry trees where you live, but you can certainly enjoy the equivalent beauty of this crabapple. Although a classic, it is becoming increasingly difficult to source good trees, so order now – our supply is limited and we may not see them again for a long time.

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Japanese Flowering Crabapple

Malus x floribunda