Valued for the aesthetic beauty of its flowers and fruit, the blooms of the crabapple typically appear before the leaves of the tree in the spring, growing fruit of less than 2 inches in diameter.
The Clemson Cooperative Extension service indicates that the average growth rate of the crabapple tree (Malus) is approximately 8 to 10 inches annually — a rate considered to be slow to moderate. The specific pace, tree size and form depends largely on which of the many varieties of crabapple is being addressed.
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The ornamental Sargent crabapple, Malus sargentii, possesses a slow rate of growth which, according to the Arbor Day Foundation, denotes a tree that grows 12 inches or less annually. This variety grows to an eventual height of 6 to 10 feet and thrives in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 8.
A flowering ornamental, the Snowdrift crabapple holds a medium growth rate of between 13 and 24 inches annually, eventually achieving a height of 15 to 20 feet, with a canopy width of the same size. It grows best in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 8 and appreciates full sun.