How to Grow Crabapple Tree From Cuttings: Propagating Crabapple Tree

Read below to know how to grow a crabapple tree from cuttings. People try to grow a crabapple tree from seeds or from a crabapple. A crabapple (Malus spp.) tree is a beautiful ornamental tree that produces bright pink, white or red blossoms in spring and then beautiful orange and red foliage in autumn. It also produces small fruit in late summer.

How to Propagate a Crabapple Tree From Cuttings

Crabapple Tree
Crabapple Tree showing beautiful flowers and fruit

Can you grow a crabapple tree from cuttings? A crabapple tree is best propagated from cuttings in soil. You can start planting and growing crabapple tree cuttings in late spring or early summer, this is the best time to propagate crabapple tree.

Steps for Rooting Crabapple Cuttings

Growing a crabapple tree from cuttings should start with taking stem cuttings.

Taking Crabapple Cuttings For Propagation

The first step to propagate crabapple is to take correct cuttings. First select a correct crab apple stem and take cuttings. Take crab apple cuttings in later winter or early spring for propagation. 

Before taking cuttings, disinfect the cutter with bleach solution.

Cut the stem using a clean and sharp cutter or shears.

What type of crabapple stems are suitable for rooting? 

Select a semi-hardwood stem on a healthy crabapple tree. To select a right stem, just bend it. If it does not bend then it is too hard, whereas if it bends easily and breaks, it’s just right for taking a cutting. If the stem bends but does not break, it is too soft and not good for propagation.

Preparing Crabapple Cuttings

Cut 6 to 8 inch long about 3 to 5mm thick cuttings from the stem. Cut the lower leaves, you may leave one or two top leaves, which you can cut into halves. Each cutting should have a leaf node at its lower side. The node is a bump where a new leaf or stem is about to emerge.

Wrap the crabapple cuttings in a damp newspaper while you take them to your home or prepare for other things.

Propagate Crabapple Tree in Water

Can crabapple cuttings be rooted in water?

Placing crabapple cuttings directly into water is not a good method of crabapple propagation as it grows a weak root system that does not adapt well to a soil. However, you can dip the cuttings in water till you prepare for other thing.

Growing Crabapple Tree from Cuttings in Soil

  1. To root crabapple cuttings in soil, take a small pot having many drainage holes to drain excess water. Fill this pot with rooting medium.
  2. The rooting medium should be free-draining. You can use coarse river sand or a mixture of river sand and potting mix. No manure or fertilizer is needed as there are not roots on the cuttings.
  3. Water the pot and move the soil to ensure that soil is wet at all the points. Keep the pot aside in shade for an hour to drain excess water.
  4. How to Plant Crabapple Cuttings

    1. Slightly scrap 1 inch of the outer bark of the cutting and apply rooting hormone. You can use a commercial chemical rooting hormone or use aloe vera gel instead.
    2. Make a hole in the soil and insert there cutting in the hole and firm the soil around the base of the cutting. Similarly plant 3-4 cuttings in the same pot.
  5. Do not water again, as the soil is already moist.
  6. Enclose the pot in a polythene bag and place at a warm place away from direct sun light, protect it from wind.
  7. Open the bag every week and add a few drops of water on the soil if it looks dry. Close the bag again.
  8. New growth will emerge in 2 to 8 weeks depending on the temperature. The crabapple cuttings will feel resistive by slight pull if roots have developed. You can even see roots coming out from bottom holes of the pot.
  9. Leave the pot with rooted crabapple cuttings in partial shade for 3-4 weeks.
  10. You can transplant the cuttings in containers or garden bed in a sunny location.

When the crabapple tree grown from seed will produce fruit?

The crabapple tree propagated from a cutting will produce fruits in less than 2 years, where as the crabapple tree grown from seed may take from 3 to 5 years to produce fruit.

Video on How To Grow Crabapple from Seed

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