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The Donald Wyman Crabapple Tree

About 1,000 species of crabapples exist, all fitting the basic definition of an apple with a diameter measuring less than two inches. Most are great to plant in gardens, but the Donald Wyman crabapple is especially worth noting.

If you’re looking for the next addition to your garden, this could be it!

Keep reading to learn about the Donald Wyman crabapple and what makes it such a great addition to a garden.

Looking to buy a Donald Wyman crabapple tree? Check availability.

Blossoms on a Donald Wyman crabapple tree.

History of the Donald Wyman Crabapple Tree

Agriculturists and historians have pinpointed the modern region of Kazakhstan as the birthplace of crabapple trees. No one’s sure how they found their way to Europe and North America, but it was likely through trade and/or migration from colonists.

In any case, many crabapple varieties have been developed or identified since then.

The Donald Wyman crabapple, however, did not exist until around 1950. It’s named for the horticulturist who discovered it at Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum. Since then, the Donald Wyman crabapple tree has been prized for its aesthetic charm, the fruit’s versatility, and its ability to attract pollinators, which benefits an entire garden.

This crabapple also has the bragging right of winning multiple awards.

Characteristics of the Donald Wyman Crabapple Tree

To know why a Donald Wyman crabapple tree deserves a place at your home, you may appreciate knowing what distinguishes them from other crabapple varieties. We’ll tell you about their basic characteristics.


Although the fruit is small, the Donald Wyman crabapple tree is quite large, often growing 15 to 20 feet in height and width.

A crabapple tree covered in white blossoms.

When the white blossoms spread to create roundish foliage, the tree is strikingly whimsical. The crabapples themselves are bright red. Together, they bring year-round beauty to any garden.


Like many crabapples, the Donald Wyman variety is rather bitter-tasting, and most people eat them only as an ingredient in a dish, snack, or drink.

However, if you don’t mind bitter foods, you might enjoy eating them raw!

Ways to Enjoy the Donald Wyman Crabapple

With their tastiness and versatility, there are lots of ways that you can use Donald Wyman crabapples in your food. Like regular apples, they make excellent jams, jellies, sauces, butters, and juices.

Of course, if you’re looking for less common uses, we can give you some ideas!

Coffee Cake

There’s nothing like a coffee cake to accompany a warm beverage as a nice breakfast or yummy dessert. Luckily, we’ve got a recipe for a luscious apple coffee cake that’s sure to become your go-to comfort food!

Closeup of squares of apple cake.

Just use Donald Wyman crabapples instead of regular apples to enjoy their sharp flavor mixed with the cake’s sweetness.

Strawberry Tart

Strawberries are among the few fruits that can match the Donald Wyman crabapple in tartness. Naturally, they’re especially delectable when put together in a crabapple strawberry tart! Together with a flaky, buttery crust and crushed nuts, this pastry will end up as one of your favorite desserts.


Sometimes, you just want a healthy snack. Fruit leather is perfect for that.

Just make some sauce out of Donald Wyman crabapples, spread it thinly on wax paper, and then let it dehydrate or bake at a low temperature in the oven. They’ll satisfy your little cravings for days!


Who doesn’t love pancakes or waffles in the morning? Donald Wyman crabapples can make such a breakfast even better if you combine the juice with sugar to make an easy crabapple syrup. Consider adding it to other treats, like ice cream, cupcakes, muffins, or pies.

Health Benefits

Red crabapples on a tree.

Your body will be healthier in many ways if you include Donald Wyman crabapples in your everyday diet. Of course, they’re known for their richness in a few specific nutrients, such as the following.

Vitamin C

As an antioxidant, vitamin C is famed for strengthening the immune system so that the body is less prone to illness or disease, including cancer. It also helps your body tissue heal faster and more thoroughly, which is important if you’re recovering from an injury, surgery, or the simple strain of exercise. In general, your cells function better with this vitamin.


Fiber consumption improves your gut health and assists with weight loss by helping you feel full and process bowel movements more smoothly. You’ll also have lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels and less heart disease or cancer risk.


Responsible for encouraging oxygen distribution in your blood and muscles by making hemoglobin and myoglobin, iron is essential for building body tissue and optimizing blood flow. It assists with creating healthy new blood cells and some hormones as well. Better blood, tissue, and hormones boost energy and brain function.


You need calcium if you want to move more freely and with less risk of injury. It’s efficient at building strong bones and tough yet flexible muscle tissue, letting you exercise or do your daily tasks more comfortably. That also makes it great for your dental health; robust teeth are less likely to develop cavities.

Growing Your Own Donald Wyman Crabapples

White crabapple blossoms with reddish-purple buds.

Understandably, you may be eager to plant a Donald Wyman crabapple tree now that you know what to expect. However, we suggest you review our tips for growing one of these trees before starting. That way, you’re more likely to get the best possible results!


Wait until either spring or fall, when outdoor temperatures will be moderate or cool. Find some rich, well-drained soil with direct access to sunlight. That’s where your tree will grow best.

Crabapple Tree Care

Although Donald Wyman crabapple trees fare well in droughts, they thrive with at least one inch of water every week for the first year after planting. Following that, they can usually find adequate water, though they may need a couple of inches every few days during heat waves.

Other than that, they only need pruning or trimming during the dormant fall or winter months. Apply a slow-releasing fertilizer if the blossoms or fruit appear weak.

Person using a pruning saw on a fruit tree.


Donald Wyman crabapple trees are noted for their disease resistance but are not invulnerable. To protect them from issues like powdery mildew, fire blight, scabs, and rusts, spray your tree with a natural fungicide or lime sulfur shortly after the leaves turn green in spring.

Immediately remove any branches that appear to be sick or dead.


Late summer and early fall are the soonest that you can expect to have Donald Wyman crabapples ready for harvesting. However, they can usually be picked in the winter, too.

Either way, the flesh should feel firm yet crunchy, and when you cut the crabapples open, you should find brown seeds inside.

Where to Buy a Tree

Nature Hills Nursery photo of a Donald Wyman crabapple covered in white blooms.
A Donald Wyman crabapple.

By now, you’ve got to be thinking that an award-winning crabapple tree is what you need in your garden, right? We can help you there!

Donald Wyman crabapple trees are available online through one of our favorite retailers, Nature Hills Nursery. Order yours in time for spring planting.

Or if you’ve already missed that, not to worry! Visit Nature Hills later in the year to add a Donald Wyman to your fall planting lineup.

Fall in Love with Donald Wyman Crabapple Trees!

Closeup of white crabapple blossoms and reddish purple flower buds.

With a Donald Wyman crabapple tree, your garden will produce wonderful fruit in addition to being healthier and more stunning. Of course, we’re happy to give you even more reasons to plant this and other types of apple trees!

To learn more about crabapples, visit the Crabapple Trees page on our website to learn about varieties of crabapples and how to best care for them.