Siberian crabapple Malus baccata var. mandshurica

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Manchurian Siberian crab apple


Malus baccata var. mandshurica, commonly known as the Siberian crabapple, is a hardy deciduous tree that is valued for its aesthetic appeal and resilience. The plant is characterized by its attractive appearance and several distinctive features. This Siberian crabapple has a rounded crown with branches that spread outward, creating a pleasing shape that is often seen in ornamental settings. The leaves of the Siberian crabapple are simple and ovate with serrated edges, creating a textured look on the branches. They are a bright green color, which turns into a delightful array of yellow to reddish hues in the fall, adding to the seasonal interest of the landscape. One of the most striking features is its spring blossoms. The tree creates a stunning display with its fragrant flowers that appear in clusters. These blooms vary from white to a soft pink and attract a variety of pollinators, bringing life and movement to the garden space. Following the flowering period, small, vibrantly colored crabapples form. These fruits are typically under two inches in diameter and can range in color from yellow to a deep red. The tiny apples hang on well into the winter, providing a food source for birds and wildlife when other resources are scarce. The bark of the Siberian crabapple adds yet another layer of interest. It is generally smooth with a grayish-brown hue and may show vertical cracks as the tree matures. The texture and color of the bark contrast beautifully with the bright fruits and foliage, making it a visually compelling plant throughout the seasons. In summary, the Siberian crabapple brings a mix of ornamental features, from its attractive flowers and colorful fruits to its textured leaves and appealing bark, but without delving into the specific dimensions or spread of the tree.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Siberian Crabapple, Manchurian Crabapple, Manchurian Wild Apple

    • Common names

      Malus baccata subsp. mandshurica, Malus mandshurica, Malus pallasiana var. mandshurica, Pyrus baccata var. mandshurica

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The most common common name for Malus baccata var. mandshurica is Siberian crab apple. There is limited information available about the toxicity of the Siberian crab apple to humans. Generally, the fruit of crab apple trees is considered edible, albeit tart, and is often used in jellies and preserves. However, like many seeds, the seeds of the Siberian crab apple contain amygdalin, which can release cyanide when metabolized. Consumption of a large number of seeds could lead to cyanide poisoning, which might result in symptoms such as headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, and potentially more severe symptoms such as seizures, respiratory failure, or even death. It is important to note that poisoning from ingesting seeds in small quantities is unlikely, as the body can detoxify small amounts of cyanide.

    • To pets

      The common name for Malus baccata var. mandshurica is Siberian crab apple. There is limited information on its toxicity to pets. However, the seeds inside the fruit contain amygdalin, which can be metabolized into cyanide. Cyanide poisoning in pets can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, salivation, difficulty breathing, dilated pupils, reddened mucous membranes, shock, and potentially death if consumed in large amounts. In general practice, allowing pets, particularly dogs and cats, to eat large amounts of fruit with seeds or pits should be avoided. Smaller amounts of seeds are less likely to cause harm, as the body can handle small doses of cyanide, and the hard seeds often pass through the digestive tract without being broken down.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      15-20 feet (4.6-6 m)

    • Spread

      15-20 feet (4.6-6 m)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: Cultivar is prized for its aesthetic value, showcasing beautiful white blossoms during springtime that enhance landscape design.
    • Wildlife Habitat: Provides food and shelter for birds and other wildlife, contributing to local biodiversity.
    • Pollinator Support: Flowers are a source of nectar for bees and other pollinating insects, supporting pollinator populations.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, the tree has good resistance to dry conditions, reducing the need for frequent watering.
    • Cold Hardy: Capable of withstanding cold climates, making it suitable for planting in northern regions.
    • Windbreak: When planted in rows, it can act as a windbreak, protecting gardens and fields from strong winds.
    • Shade Provider: Its canopy produces ample shade, creating cooler areas in gardens and parks during sunny days.
    • Erosion Control: Strong root systems help stabilize soil and control erosion on slopes and banks.
    • Species Diversity: Adds to the horticultural diversity of an area, contributing to a range of tree species in landscapes.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Antioxidant: The fruit of Siberian crabapple may contain compounds that exhibit antioxidant properties.
    • Anti-inflammatory: Some studies suggest that the compounds in this plant can have anti-inflammatory effects.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Wildlife shelter: Malus baccata var. mandshurica trees can provide dense cover for birds and small mammals seeking protection from predators or harsh weather.
    • Erosion control: The extensive root system of this species helps stabilize soil on slopes, preventing erosion.
    • Ornamental use: The Siberian Crabapple, with its attractive blossoms and fruit, is often planted as an ornamental tree in gardens and parks.
    • Rootstock for grafting: This variety is sometimes used as rootstock for grafting other more desirable apple cultivars to impart them with cold hardiness.
    • Bee forage: The blossoms provide an early source of nectar for bees and other pollinators in spring.
    • Dye production: The bark can be used in the production of natural dyes.
    • Woodworking: The wood is hard and dense, making it suitable for turning and small woodworking projects.
    • Edible fruit: Although not the primary choice for consumption, the small fruit can be used in jellies and preserves.
    • Cultural symbol: The Siberian Crabapple is sometimes planted for its cultural significance or as part of traditional landscaping styles.
    • Photography subject: Its attractive blossoms and fruit make it a favored subject for nature and landscape photographers.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Siberian Crabapple is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Siberian Crabapple is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Rebirth and Renewal: This variety of the Malus baccata, commonly known as Siberian crab apple, blooms in spring, symbolizing the idea of renewal and the cycle of life beginning anew.
    • Temptation and Desire: The apple has historically been associated with temptation, likely due to biblical stories and mythology. Similarly, the Siberian crab apple may represent desire or the allure of something forbidden.
    • Love and Affection: Apples are often symbolic of love and affection in various cultures. Giving someone a crab apple from the Malus baccata var. mandshurica may convey romantic intentions or deep appreciation.
    • Peace and Harmony: In some traditions, the apple is a sign of peace and tranquility. The Siberian crab apple, with its delicate flowers, can represent a desire for harmony in one's surroundings.
    • Beauty and Perseverance: Despite often harsh growing conditions, the Siberian crab apple is admired for its hardiness and beautiful blossoms, embodying the spirit of resilience amid adversity and the beauty that can result from it.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-early summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Siberian Crabapple prefers moist soil but is relatively drought-tolerant once established. During the first growing season, water the plant deeply once a week, providing about 1 to 2 gallons of water each time, to help establish a strong root system. Adjust this schedule according to rainfall and check the soil moisture level regularly; the top inch should be allowed to dry out between waterings. For mature trees, water every two to three weeks with approximately 2 gallons per watering if there is no significant rainfall. In hot and dry conditions, increase the frequency to once a week, ensuring that water reaches deep into the root zone.

  • sunLight

    The Siberian Crabapple thrives best in full sun. Plant it in a location where it receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. An ideal spot would be an open area away from larger trees or buildings that can cast shade. While it can tolerate partial shade, its flowering and fruiting may be reduced in less than full sun conditions.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Siberian Crabapple trees are hardy and can withstand cold temperatures, surviving in minimum temperatures down to -40°F. They grow well in a range of climates with ideal growing temperatures between 60°F and 75°F during the growing season. These trees are suited for USDA hardiness zones 2 through 8 and can acclimate to varying temperate conditions.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune the Siberian Crabapple in late winter or early spring before new growth starts. The main reasons for pruning are to remove dead or damaged branches, improve form, and encourage healthier fruit production. You should also thin out crowded branches to ensure good air circulation. It's typically enough to prune the tree once a year during these times, but always remove diseased or broken limbs as soon as they are noticed to maintain tree health.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Siberian crabapple prefers a well-draining loamy or sandy soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.5. A good soil mix for this plant could be one part garden soil, one part compost or well-rotted manure, and one part sand to ensure adequate drainage. It is important to maintain moderate fertility levels to support healthy growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Siberian crabapple trees do not need frequent repotting as they are usually grown as outdoor trees. If grown in containers, young trees may be repotted every 2-3 years to provide fresh soil and additional space for growing roots. Mature trees can be top-dressed instead of repotted by removing the top layer of soil and replacing it with fresh compost.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Siberian crabapple trees are adaptable to a wide range of humidity levels and do not require specific humidity conditions. They thrive in the humidity levels found naturally outdoors and do not necessarily need any special considerations regarding humidity when grown in their appropriate hardiness zones.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Minimal success indoors, needs full sun, well-drained soil, and chill hours.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun, well-draining soil, water deeply, and provide winter chill.

    • Hardiness zone

      2-7 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Malus baccata var. mandshurica, commonly known as Siberian crabapple, starts its life cycle as a seed that, once germinated in suitable conditions of soil and climate, sprouts into a seedling. During the juvenile phase, the seedling grows into a small tree through vegetative growth consisting of roots, stems, and leaves. As it matures, the tree enters the flowering stage, producing white blossoms that are pollinated by insects, leading to the development of fruit. The fruits, small crabapples, reach maturity typically in late summer or autumn, containing seeds that disperse through various agents such as animals, which eat the fruit and later excrete the seeds. After reaching reproductive maturity, the Siberian crabapple can produce flowers and fruit annually. The tree has the ability to live for several decades, continuing the cycle through seed production and dispersal.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-early summer

    • The most popular method of propagation for the Siberian crabapple, Malus baccata var. mandshurica, is through grafting. This technique typically takes place in late winter or early spring before the plant comes out of dormancy. In grafting, a piece of a stem with leaf buds, known as a scion, is inserted into the stock of another tree. The scion is usually taken from a desirable Siberian crabapple that has the preferred traits one wishes to replicate. The cut surfaces of the scion and stock are joined and bound tightly together, then sealed with grafting wax or tape to prevent desiccation and infection. Over the course of several weeks to months, the tissues grow together, eventually forming a union and allowing the grafted scion to grow and develop as part of the new tree.