Gardening Q&A: crabapple trees

Horticultural advice from the experts at the RHS
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Question: Where can I buy container-grown crabapple trees and how much do they usually cost? Which species is best?

Answer: Crab apples are such a good choice of tree for gardens – they will grow in almost any fertile soil and will even put up with a little shade.

The choice is very wide, from growing habit, flower and fruit colour to eventual heights. For a classic red-fruiting cultivar, excellent for making jellies, go for ‘John Downie’, but for pure garden elegance, consider Malus transitoria. It is a small tree with white flowers, followed by branchfuls of small jewel-like orange fruits and striking autumn colour.

The RHS Plant Finder online lists suppliers: The best size of tree to start with is really as small as possible, but a 1.8m tree in a 12 litre container will establish well and is likely to cost around £40.

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