Crabapple, Spring Snow –
An upright, densely branched small tree, ‘Spring Snow’ covers itself with white flowers in spring but produces no crabapples. This hybrid, deciduous tree has dark green, oval leaves that emerge as the flower buds open, painting a green background for the open flowers in mid spring. The flowers are fragrant but sterile and attract bees. In autumn the leaves turn a mottled mosaic of green, yellow, and yellow-green.
Plant ‘Spring Snow’ in full sun on any moderately fertile, deep, well-drained soil that is moist throughout the growing season. Although it tolerates some drought, this tree will look stressed or even shabby unless watered during prolonged dry periods. It is not well-suited to long, humid, wet summers or the heat and dryness of low deserts. It needs a long period of cold in winter to flower fully in spring. Use this ornamental tree as a specimen in the front yard, as a street tree, or trained as an espalier. Since it does not bear fruit, it is ideal for planting near sidewalks, paved paths, patios, decks and other areas where raking fallen fruits is undesirable.
Select a site with full sun and well-drained soil.
Plant in spring or fall. Space plants 10 to 20 feet apart, depending on the expected mature size of the variety. Dig a hole only as deep as the rootball and two to three times as wide. If your soil is in very poor condition, amend the soil you’ve removed from the hole with a small amount of compost. Otherwise don’t amend it at all. Carefully remove the tree from the container and set it in the hole. Fill the hole half full with soil, then water it well to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets. Let the water drain, then fill the remainder of hole with soil and water thoroughly.
Apply a layer of compost under the tree each spring, spreading it out to the dripline (the area under the outermost branches). Add a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds, keeping mulch a few inches away from the tree trunk. Water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. Crab apples require little pruning once established. In late winter, prune dead, diseased, and broken branches and trim off any sprouts that arise at the base of the tree.