Malus 'Katherine'

Common Name: flowering crabapple 
Type: Tree
Family: Rosaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 15.00 to 20.00 feet
Spread: 15.00 to 20.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Pinkish-white (double)
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Birds, Butterflies
Fruit: Showy, Edible
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Air Pollution


Best grown in medium moisture, well-drained, acidic loams in full sun. Adapts to a wide range of soils. Established trees have some drought tolerance. Although some flowers may be lost, it is best to prune this tree as needed in late winter. Spring pruning should be avoided as it produces fresh, open cuts where fireblight bacterium can enter.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Malus is a genus of about 35 species of deciduous trees and shrubs from Europe, Asia and North America.

Genus name from Latin is an ancient name for apple.

‘Katherine’ is an upright, spreading crabapple that matures to 15-20’ tall. It was discovered as a chance seedling in Rochester, New York in 1928. Pink buds open to pinkish-white, double flowers (to 2 1/4” diameter) in spring (April). Flowers fade to white. Flowers are followed by greenish-yellow crabapples (to 1/4” diameter) blushed with red. Crabapples mature in fall and persist on the tree into early winter. Birds are attracted to the fruit. Leaves are dark green.


The main diseases of crabapple are scab, fire blight, rusts, leaf spot and powdery mildew. Potential insect pests are of lesser concern and include tent caterpillars, aphids, Japanese beetles, borers and scale. Spider mites may occur.

‘Katherine’ shows good resistance to scab and fireblight.


Plant as a specimen/accent or in small groups. General landscape use.