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The Adirondack Crabapple Tree

With abundant blooms of elegant flowers and colorful fruits, the Adirondack Crabapple tree is sure to be the star of any garden, no matter the season.

One-of-a-kind, and consistently rated as a superior variety, this tree certainly lives up to its hype.

Keep reading to learn about this complex crabapple tree, including what it looks like, how to enjoy it, and even how to grow your own at home.

Looking to buy an Adirondack Crabapple tree? Check availability.

Closeup of white blossoms on an Adirondack crabapple tree.

History of the Adirondack Crabapple Tree

The National Arboretum in Washington, D.C introduced this tree. It’s explained that this tree was created to be an elegant testament to the versatility and landscape value of the ornamental crabapple.

Fall colors at the US National Arboretum.
Fall colors at the US National Arboretum.

In 2002, the Adirondack Crabapple tree received a Gold Medal Plant Award from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society for its unique and favorable qualities.

Characteristics of the Adirondack Crabapple Tree

The Adirondack Crabapple tree has unique traits that set it apart from other crabapple tree varieties. Highlighted below are some features that make this tree so special.

Characteristics of the Tree

A young Adirondack crabapple with branches growing in an upward direction.
A young Adirondack crabapple.


Unlike most crabapple tree varieties, the Adirondack variety grows in an upright form rather than branching outward, giving it a narrow and oblong appearance.

This quality makes the tree a perfect addition to gardens with limited space, as its columnar shape allows it to grow and display its beauty, even in tight spaces.


The Adirondack Crabapple tree is relatively small. When mature (about 20 years old) this tree will be an average of 18 feet tall. Its crown reaches about 16 feet around at its widest.

What Its Flowers Look Like

The flowers produced by this plant play a significant role in its charm. It begins to bloom in late April when small deep red buds start to show.

By late April, these buds are replaced by large and waxy flowers that line the stems with their light red and bright white color.

These pale flowers are supplemented with dark green leaves in the spring, which later turn orange throughout the summer. Lastly, these leaves will turn a dark red-orange shade just before dropping.

Adirondack Crabapple Appearance

Closeup of red Adirondack crabapples in the fall.

Adirondack Crabbaples are small in size but abundant in yield. They’re about a half-inch in diameter and have a hard waxy exterior. They’re a bright orange-red shade and persist into winter until they become frozen and mushy (and favorable to animals).

Ways to Enjoy the Adirondack Crabapple Tree

Many types of crabapple tree varieties are enjoyed by using the fruit in various culinary recipes. However, the Adirondack Crabapple tree is better for enjoying with your eyes, as opposed to your tastebuds.

Landscape Use

Because of its upright growth pattern, the Adirondack Crabapple tree can fit nicely in any tight space in your landscape or garden. With its elegant and seasonally changing colors, this tree will be the focal point in any yard even in busy spaces.

Try lining the edges of your driveway with this tree to create an inviting pathway into your home. You can also mix and match the Adirondack Crabapple tree with other crabapple tree varieties to display many colors and blossoms that will last throughout the changing seasons.

Crabapples and cherry trees planted together for spring color.

Using the Flowers

Just because these flowers change with the seasons, it doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to your favorite bloom colors. Drying flowers and blossoms is a great way to enjoy the abundance of the Adirondack Crabapple tree.

Drying flowers is an easy process of peeling the external petals and leaving your blossom tied upside down for a few weeks. Once dry, you can use these flowers for culinary garnish, as a gift accessory, or even framed for home decor.

You can also save a variety of blossoms throughout the season and combine the different colors. Using the crabapple’s dried flowers is a great way to let your creativity flourish!

Growing Your Own

Closeup of white flowers covering branches of an Adirondack crabapple tree.

Although growing a tree may seem intimidating, growing an Adirondack Crabapple tree is easier than you may think.

Because this tree was created to be ultra-disease-resistant and low-maintenance, it’s the perfect project for any home gardener. Below we’ll discuss a few important tips to help you get started.

For more information and step-by-step instructions, make sure to take a look at our post on How to Plant a Crabapple Tree.


This variety is easily grown in well-drained and moderately fertile soils. It prefers acidic loams that receive medium moisture.

It can also tolerate droughts once well established (about one year after planting).


Like other varieties, the Adirondack Crabapple Tree thrives best in full sun. However, they prefer climates with temperate summers and cold winters, as opposed to climates with extreme heat.


As low-maintenance as it gets, this tree requires very minimal pruning. All it needs is the removal of damaged or misplaced growths in the late winter or early spring.

Care Tips

Make sure to space your plants 10 to 20 feet apart based on the expected size of tree when it reaches maturity.

Your plant will typically take about six weeks to establish new roots in your soil, so water it as often as every two to four days in its early life. After six weeks, you will only need to water it about once per week (unless it has rained).

Forcing Crabapple Blossoms

A bucket of branches cut from a cherry tree to force blooms indoors.
Crabapple blossoms can be enjoyed indoors, just like this bucket of cherry blossoms.

To force a blooming process is to imitate what this plant does in nature but indoors. Doing this to your Adirondack Crabapple tree can allow you to enjoy the fragrance of the blossoms a few weeks before the tree is ready to bloom.

To force your crabapple tree, cut lateral stems of newly grown branches using hand pruners near the base of the branch (to avoid leaving a stub).

Next, submerge the crabapple branches in room-temperature water overnight. Then, stand the branches in the water and place the bucket in a cool location for two days, misting the branches to keep the buds moist.

Eventually, you’ll move the bucket to a bright area with indirect sunlight and watch the buds open in two to three weeks.

Where to Buy a Tree

Closeup of blossoms on a crabapple tree.

Are you thinking your yard looks a little incomplete now without one of these crabapples featured in your garden space? If so, we’re here to help!

If you want to grow your own ornamental crabapple, we recommend the Adirondack Crabapple tree sold online by one of our favorite retailers, Nature Hills Nursery.

Order your tree in time for spring planting. Or visit them later in the year to add an Adirondack to your fall planting lineup.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will this tree attract animals to my yard?

Yes! Although not enjoyed by humans, animals love to feast on the fruits of the Adirondack Crabapple tree.

You may notice crabapple-loving animals like birds, butterflies, hummingbirds, and deer coming to your yard to enjoy an afternoon snack.

A cedar waxwing bird on a crabapple tree with shriveled fruit.
Cedar waxwing on a crabapple tree.

Are crabapples toxic?

While it’s not toxic to humans or certain animal species, crabapples are harmful to dogs, cats, and horses.

Because of the trace amount of cyanide found in the stems, leaves, and seeds, crabapples can lead to cyanide poisoning if ingested on an empty stomach.

Make sure your pets are well-fed before letting them roam your yard to help prevent them from eating these dangerous fruits.

A Colorful and Ornamental Tree

Closeup of a white blossom and small reddish-pink buds on an Adirondack crabapple tree.
Blossom on an Adirondack.

A newer addition to the crabapple family, the Adirondack Crabapple tree has some amazing qualities that have made it a fan-favorite among gardeners and tree lovers.

Whether you’re looking for a way to spice up your yard or want to know more about what to do with the unique and colorful blossoms you’ve noticed in your neighborhood, the Adirondack Crabapple tree is worth exploring.

Curious to learn more about crabapples? Take a look at our Crabapple Trees page for all you need to know.