Skip to Content

The Red Jade Crabapple Tree

Do you need some beautiful, hardy blooms to liven up your yard? The Red Jade crabapple tree could be a great choice!

These gorgeous drought-tolerant trees offer white flowers in the spring and eye-catching red fruits from summer to winter. The foliage also changes in the fall, offering you bright pops of warm colors to welcome the season!

You can expect it to attract birds and butterflies as well. So, your yard will be bursting with color and wildlife that you can enjoy until the beginning of winter.

Keep reading to learn more about this tree and how you can easily care for it in your yard!

Are you looking for Red Jade crabapple trees? Check availability here!

Red Jade crabapple (Malus x sheidekeri Red Jade)

History of the Red Jade Crabapple Tree

This crabapple variety seems to stem from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which is a public plant display created in 1910.

This New York garden cultivated the tree, meaning they bred the hybrid crabapple tree themselves rather than it happening naturally. So, you will not find this variety growing natively anywhere.

Characteristics of the Red Jade Crabapple Tree

White spring floral background of crab apple blossoms on a rainy day

The Red Jade crabapple tree produces beautiful foliage, flowers, and tiny fruits in the span of about eight months. It’s rather small in size compared to other crabapple tree varieties and is primarily for ornamental purposes.

Tree Qualities

Red Jade crabapple trees usually only grow up to 10-15 feet and have a spread of up to 20 feet. You’ll notice that the branches of this tree have a weeping look, creating an eye-catching canopy.

Once springtime hits, the tree grows bright green foliage and beautiful white to light pink flowers. Most buds start out pink, and the flowers eventually fade to white.

Then by summertime, you can expect the fruits to start growing. And in the fall, the leaves of the tree turn orange and yellow, bringing vibrant color to your yard.

It is a deciduous tree, so it’ll shed these beautifully-colored leaves annually at the end of fall. Sometimes the fruits outlast the leaves, as they’ll stay put until the winter hits.

Crabapple Qualities

The crabapples themselves are also rather small in size when compared to other crabapple varieties. They’re usually just under an inch in diameter, whereas other types tend to be 1-2 inches.

These fruits are vibrant red and have an intriguing glossy sheen to them. They look very similar to small cherries.

Growing and Caring for Red Jade Crabapple Trees

Flowering Crabapple 'Red Jade' (Malus x hybrida)

Planting your crabapple tree is a relatively simple process. All you need to do is dig a hole that’s about the size of the root system and cover it with dirt.

From here, the caring process is easy too. Red Jade crabapple trees don’t need specialized care other than typical watering and occasional fertilizing. And they’re extremely adaptable and drought-tolerant, so they won’t suffer if you miss a few waterings.

They’re very forgiving trees, making them a good starting tree for beginner gardeners.

Use the following information as a general guide when caring for your new crabapple trees.

Planting Zones

Like other varieties, the Red Jade crabapple tree grows at its healthiest in USDA hardiness zones 4-8. These zones span most of the United States, further showcasing its adaptability.

Growing Season

This tree’s growing season is from spring to the beginning of winter. It is roughly from April to the beginning of December. The leaves will start growing at the beginning of spring, with flower buds appearing soon after. By the end of spring, you should have showy opened blooms and then crabapples in the summer into the winter.

Size and Spacing

Due to the tree’s canopy spread of up to 20 feet, your spacing between each one should be 20 feet. This is the minimum, so you can space them apart further than this if you’d like.

Soil Requirements

Red Jade crabapple trees can handle various soil types ranging from sandy to loamy and alkaline to acidic.

However, the primary parameter you should always meet is allowing for good drainage. Incorporating organic matter or rocks into the soil can help with this. Without proper drainage, the water can pool at the roots and cause them to rot.


This crabapple tree variety will need full sunlight to reach its full potential. With this, you must ensure it gets 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily.


While the Red Jade crabapple tree is drought-tolerant, you should aim to give it 1-2 inches of water per week. Try to keep the soil damp to the touch.


You can fertilize your crabapple tree at the beginning of spring before growth starts to kick in. Using a flowering tree fertilizer can promote healthy growth, leading to a fuller look.


Wide crabapple varieties, including the Red Jade crabapple tree, are self-pollinating trees. Due to this, they can grow fruit without outside pollination. However, self-pollination doesn’t always create high fruit yields.

To increase yields, you may want to utilize open pollination by planting at least one other crabapple tree nearby. Wind and pollinators like bees will help transfer pollen between the trees, increasing your chances for more fruit.


You should only prune this crabapple tree in the winter, as this is when the tree is dormant. Pruning stresses the trees out. But when they’re dormant, stress is unlikely as they aren’t actively growing.

During pruning, remove any dead, diseased, or broken branches. Doing this will promote healthy growth when springtime hits.

Possible Diseases

Red Jade crabapple trees are resistant to rust, which is a fungal disease that causes discolored spots on the foliage. They’re usually orange or brown. While this is good, the tree is still susceptible to other crabapple diseases like the following:

  • Scab – a fungal disease that can cause brown spots on the leaves and fruit.
  • Fireblight – a deadly bacterial disease.
  • Cankers – when bacteria or fungi attack an open wound on your tree, causing oozing bumps.

Unfortunately, the above diseases are not treatable. So, fungicides and other sprays will not work. You can only try to control these diseases and prevent them from spreading to the rest of your tree. To do this, you’ll need to cut off any diseased parts and observe the tree for further spreading.

Possible Pests

Here are some possible pests you can encounter with this crabapple tree variety:

  • Aphids – small sap-sucking bugs that can deplete your tree of nutrients.
  • Webworms – moth caterpillars that enjoy eating tree foliage.
  • Spider mites – small bugs that eat and destroy leaves.

Signs of pests like the above included chewed holes on leaves, web nests from webworms, and the physical bugs themselves. While you can’t fix the damage, you can safely rid your tree of these pests with organic pesticides.

When to Harvest Red Jade Crabapples

This crabapple variety is edible for humans, as the fruit isn’t toxic to us. However, they have a bitter taste to them that isn’t palatable even when you cook them down.

Other crabapple varieties are better for cooking and eating rather than this one. So, leaving these fruits for the birds to enjoy is best.

Remember that crabapple seeds are toxic to dogs, cats, horses, and other pets.

Where to Buy Red Jade Crabapple Tree Saplings

close up Chinese flowering crabapple

Does the Red Jade crabapple tree seem like a good ornamental option for your yard? If you want to buy one, check out places like Amazon for current availability!

Wrapping Up the Red Jade Crabapple Tree

The drought-tolerant Red Jade crabapple tree is the perfect landscaping option, as it offers beauty for most of the year. This highly-adaptable tree allows you to enjoy foliage, stunning white flowers, and vibrant fruits with low-maintenance care.

Growing these beauties is easy, and their showy appearance will brighten up your yard for years to come!

Do you need more information on crabapples? Check out our crabapple tree page for more details on this beautiful tree species.