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The Golden Raindrops Crabapple Tree

The Golden Raindrops is a crabapple tree variety that is sometimes mixed up with its popular child tree, the Royal Raindrops, with the biggest being the color of their flowers and fruit.

Spring brings beautiful ornamental white flowers to the Golden Raindrops, with bright yellow, edible fruit appearing in the fall that can be used in various crabapple recipes. Read on to learn about the Golden Raindrops, a.k.a. the perfect parent tree.

Looking to buy a Golden Raindrops crabapple tree? Check availability.

White blossoms on a Golden Raindrops crabapple tree (Malus transitoria) dazzle the eye on a spring day in May 2020.

Characteristics of the Golden Raindrops Crabapple Tree

The tree stands out because of its slender, elegant limbs that spread horizontally from upright branches. It has a fine texture and deeply cut, medium-green foliage.

It can reach up to 20 feet tall with a 15-foot spread. Snowy white flowers shower from the tree in spring, and fall brings an abundance of small golden yellow fruit. The leaves also turn golden yellow, allowing the tree to live up to its name truly.

This very adaptable tree is perfect for most home landscapes.

Facts About the Golden Raindrops Crabapple Tree

A bumble bee (Bombus spp.) collects nectar and pollen from the white blossom of a Golden Raindrops crabapple tree (Malus transitoria) on a sunny spring day in May 2020.

Like all crabapples, the Golden Raindrops tree is a member of the rose family. Like others in the family, crabapples are primarily grown for their beauty. Their stunning, long-lasting spring flowers attract on-lookers and create great spring backdrops.

The Golden Raindrops crabapple tree is the parent to the Royal Raindrops tree, a crabapple that’s known for its pink flowers, purple foliage, and reddish-purple fruit.

Crabapples should not be eaten raw and should be cooked before eating. Warning: Crabapple seeds are poisonous, so be careful not to eat the seeds.

Ways to Enjoy the Golden Raindrops Crabapple Tree


Pick a bouquet in the spring and showcase them on your special occasions. The white flowers are perfect floral decorations for weddings, baptisms, First Communions, and more. If you want fruit in the fall, make sure not to pick all the flowers!


Crabapple cider is easy to make. To sweeten the beverage, you only need crabapples, water, sugar, or honey. Give it a try!

To make cider, wash your crabapples and remove the stems and ends of the blossoms. Cut the crabapples into quarters, then boil them in a big pot.

Line a strainer with cheesecloth, remove all the juice, and add the crabapples with your compost. Return the juice to the pan and add sugar, honey, or your desired sweetener.

Simmer until the sugar is dissolved, then taste tests your cider. If it’s too strong, add more water; if it’s too weak, simmer until the flavor is just right.


Jam is another easy way to enjoy your crabapples, and if you preserve it, it can last a long time. What’s great about crabapples, in particular, is you don’t have to add pectin because crabapples are loaded with pectin.

The foundation for crabapple jam is crabapples, a type of juice—most recipes call for apple juice and lemon juice—and an extra sweetener like sugar or honey. Try one of these jam recipes:

Crabapple Jam
Fall Crabapple Jam


Crabapple Pie Filling
Crabapple Bread
Crabapple Wine


Both the Golden Raindrops tree and its fruit are ornamental. These trees are more commonly marketed for their ornamental value than the fruit it bears. Golden Raindrops trees make beautiful accents to various landscapes, especially in the spring and fall.

The fruit makes a lovely centerpiece in the fall alongside other fall fruits.


The Golden Raindrops tree is used in a variety of landscape types. Many people like to use it in gardens, on property lines, and anchoring corners of the house. This tree looks best in odd-numbered clusters and should be kept at least ten feet away from buildings.

Need privacy? This tree is great for adding privacy to your yard or home because of its low branches, causing it to block the view of anything behind it.

Health Benefits of Golden Raindrops Crabapples

A crabapple contains a high volume of vitamin C, which our body’s immune system needs to fight off colds and other illnesses.

Crabapples contain pectin, which is a soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is encouraged for consumption in those with high cholesterol. It also may help improve healthy bowel function and stabilize blood sugar.

Learn to Grow the Golden Raindrops Crabapple Tree

Buds are making an appearance on the Golden Raindrops crabapple tree (Malus transitoria) in early spring.


The Golden Raindrops crabapple tree is the perfect choice for first-time tree growers because of its disease-resistance and low-maintenance qualities.

Although the GoldenRaindrops crabapple tree is marketed as low maintenance, the tree grows best in average to moist, well-drained soil. It should not be allowed to dry out completely.

The Golden Raindrops Crabapple tree does not grow well in areas with extreme heat and should be planted in USDA Zones 4 through 8, with it thriving best in Zone 4.

Plant your Golden Raindrops crabapple tree on the south side of the building, which receives the most sunlight throughout the day. Avoid diseases by planting in an area that receives full air circulation. Read these tips on how to plant a crabapple tree before breaking ground.

This tree may be disease resistant but is still susceptible to common crabapple diseasesPruning as needed can help keep your crabapple tree healthy.


Crabapples are ready to pick when the seeds have turned brown. Cut a few crabapples in half to check if the fruit is ripe. Its flesh should be firm and crisp, and you shouldn’t break a tooth while biting.

Unpicked crabapples are great winter snacks for wildlife. You don’t have to worry about picking up fallen crabapples because the deer and birds should take care of them.

Where to Buy the Royal Raindrops Crabapple Tree

The Royal Raindrops crabapple tree can be hard to find; check these online nurseries for availability:

Frequently Asked Questions

Are golden raindrop crabapple trees messy?

Since the fruit is less than one-fourth of an inch in diameter, birds and wildlife can easily clean the fruit up over the wintertime. Wildlife like deer and northern birds rely on crabapple trees in colder zones to survive the cold winter months.

Other varieties of crabapples and apple trees are much messier because their fruit is too big for birds to eat, so they will peck at it and never fully digest it.

My golden raindrop crabapple tree is splitting. What should I do?

If your golden raindrop tree is splitting, you may be surprised because this tree is often chosen due to its disease-resistance qualities. Unfortunately, no tree is one hundred percent disease resistant.

Bark splitting can happen for a couple of reasons. The most common cause of splitting bark is sunscald, which is the freezing of bark after high temperatures in winter.

You can treat the tree by trimming the bark split if it appears healthy. However, if the entire tree appears weak and unhealthy, you should have a certified arborist assess it.

The Perfect Parent

Now you know all about the Golden Raindrops tree and why it’s the perfect parent tree. If you want to learn more about crabapple trees—including the Royal Raindrops—head over to our Crabapple Page to keep reading.