Sugar Tyme Crabapple: High Ornamental Value & Easy Care

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Described as a precious tree among ornamental species, the Sugar Tyme crabapple boasts a high decorative worth and requires minimal maintenance.

This tree is a celebration of nature’s beauty, boasting a spectacular display of spring blooms, attractive fruits, and vibrant fall foliage.

However, the Sugar Tyme crabapple is not just about looks. It’s a hardy, adaptable tree that fits well into various settings and offers benefits for local wildlife.

Is Sugar Tyme crabapple fruit edible? Yes, the fruits of the Sugar Tyme crabapple are edible. However, they are quite small and tart, so they are not typically consumed fresh by humans. Instead, they are often used to make jellies or fed to wildlife. As with all apples, the seeds should not be consumed.

Ready to learn more? In the following, we’ll discuss the tree’s characteristics and growth habits, fruits, care needs, and potential problems. We’ll even share some garden design and plant-pairing ideas. Let’s get started.

Key Takeaways

  • The Sugar Tyme crabapple is a highly ornamental tree known for its spring blooms, colorful fruits, and vibrant fall foliage. It’s a hardy and adaptable tree that fits well into various landscapes and offers benefits for local wildlife.
  • This tree thrives in full sun and well-drained, moderately fertile soil. It’s resistant to many common apple tree diseases.
  • Regular watering, annual fertilization, and pruning are essential for maintaining the tree’s health and appearance.
  • It’s important to monitor this tree for potential pests like aphids and Japanese beetles.

While the Sugar Tyme crabapple is stunning, there are numerous other varieties worth exploring. Check out my comprehensive article, Best Crabapple Varieties, to discover the top choices.

Sugar Tyme Crabapple

Before we take a close look at Sugar Tyme’s characteristics, here’s a quick overview:

FeatureDescription
Botanical NameMalus ‘Sutyzam’
Mature Height14-18 feet
Mature Width12-15 feet
Growth RateModerate
Light PreferencesFull sun
Ideal SoilWell-drained, moderately fertile soil
Watering NeedsRegular watering, more frequent in extreme heat
Bloom TimeSpring
Bloom Color & FragranceWhite flowers with a light, pleasant fragrance
FruitsSmall, red to orange fruits (crabapples)
Fall FoliageYellow to orange

General Appearance

The Sugar Tyme crabapple is a medium-sized tree with a rounded, spreading habit.

Its leaves are a vibrant green, providing a lush backdrop for the profusion of white flowers that appear in spring.

As the seasons change, the tree produces small, red to orange fruits, which persist into winter and add a pop of color to the landscape.

In autumn, the tree’s foliage turns shades of yellow to orange, adding to its seasonal appeal.

Seasonal Color

The Sugar Tyme crabapple is a tree that offers year-round interest. In spring, it’s adorned with a profusion of white flowers.

Come summer, the focus shifts to its glossy green foliage and the small, reddish-orange crabapples that begin to appear.

Autumn sees the tree dressed in shades of yellow to orange, and winter highlights the persistent, colorful fruits against the bare branches.

Growth Rate & Mature Size

The Sugar Tyme crabapple exhibits a moderate growth rate, typically reaching its mature height of 14-18 feet and width of 12-15 feet within 10-15 years.

This size makes it a versatile choice for landscapes, fitting well into smaller garden spaces while also making a statement in larger settings.

Blooms

One of the standout features of the Sugar Tyme crabapple is its spectacular spring blooms.

The tree produces an abundance of white flowers that not only create a stunning visual display but also emit a light, pleasant fragrance.

The blooming period typically begins in spring and lasts for several weeks, providing a long-lasting spectacle of color and scent.

Fruits

The Sugar Tyme crabapple is not just a feast for the eyes but also for the local wildlife.

Following the spring bloom, the tree adorns itself with small fruits that transition in color from red to orange as they mature.

These crabapples, while too small and tart for human consumption, serve as a delightful treat for various birds and wildlife, especially during the late fall and early winter when food sources become scarce.

Pollination

When it comes to pollination, the Sugar Tyme crabapple is self-reliant. It has the ability to self-pollinate, which means it doesn’t require another tree nearby to produce its vibrant fruits.

That being said, the presence of another apple or crabapple tree in close proximity can boost its fruit production.

The tree’s beautiful flowers are a magnet for bees and other pollinating insects that play a crucial role in the local ecosystem.

Hardiness

The Sugar Tyme crabapple is a testament to resilience in the plant world.

This tree is well equipped to handle a variety of environmental conditions, demonstrating a high level of tolerance for different soil types as long as they offer good drainage.

It flourishes under the full sun, adding to its versatility in landscape design.

One of the standout traits of the Sugar Tyme crabapple is its resistance to diseases that commonly afflict apple trees, such as apple scab and fire blight.

This hardy nature is further reflected in its ability to thrive in USDA hardiness Zones 4-8, enduring winter temperatures as low as -30°F.

Sugar Tyme Crabapple Growing Conditions

The Sugar Tyme crabapple is a tree that appreciates certain conditions to truly flourish. Understanding these preferences can help you provide the optimal environment for this tree to thrive.

Grow Zones

The Sugar Tyme crabapple is a hardy specimen, capable of thriving in a variety of climates. It is best suited to USDA Hardiness Zones 4-8, making it a versatile choice for many people.

Sun Requirements

When it comes to sunlight, the Sugar Tyme crabapple is a sun-loving tree. It thrives best in locations that receive full sun, which encourages the most vibrant display of flowers, foliage, and fruit.

Soil Preferences

Soil plays a crucial role in the health of any tree, and the Sugar Tyme crabapple is no exception. This tree prefers well-drained soil that is moderately fertile.

It is adaptable to a range of soil pH levels from acidic to alkaline, adding to its versatility.

Sugar Tyme Crabapple Maintenance and Care

While the Sugar Tyme crabapple is a relatively low-maintenance tree, it does benefit from some basic care practices to ensure it grows healthy and strong.

Watering

Watering is an essential part of the care routine for the Sugar Tyme crabapple, especially during its early years and in periods of high heat.

However, it’s important to avoid overwatering as this can lead to root problems. The goal is to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.

Fertilization

To support its growth and flowering, the Sugar Tyme crabapple benefits from an annual application of a balanced, slow-release fertilizer (this is the one I use).

Applying this in early spring can help provide the nutrients the tree needs for the growing season.

Pruning

Pruning is an important part of maintaining the health and appearance of the Sugar Tyme crabapple. This should be done in late winter or early spring while the tree is still dormant.

The focus should be on removing any dead, diseased, or crossing branches as well as maintaining the tree’s overall shape.

Pests & Diseases

While the Sugar Tyme crabapple is resistant to many common apple tree diseases, it can occasionally be affected by certain pests.

Aphids and Japanese beetles are among the potential pests that might be attracted to this tree.

Regular monitoring and early intervention can help manage these pests and prevent them from causing significant damage.

Landscape Uses & Wildlife Value

The Sugar Tyme crabapple is a tree that brings both beauty and biodiversity to the landscape.

Its stunning seasonal displays make it a great choice for a specimen tree, and its compact size allows it to fit into borders or smaller garden spaces.

The tree’s flowers attract pollinators, and its fruits provide a valuable food source for birds and other wildlife, enhancing the tree’s ecological value.

Companion Plants

The Sugar Tyme crabapple can be paired with a variety of other plants to create a more diverse and visually appealing landscape.

Consider underplanting with spring-flowering bulbs or ground covers such as hostas for a layered look.

Alternatively, pair it with shrubs or small trees that offer contrasting foliage colors for a dynamic display.

Where To Buy

Sugar Tyme crabapple trees can be found at many local nurseries and garden centers. If you can’t find them locally, they are also available online from reputable retailers such as these:

Closing Thoughts

The Sugar Tyme crabapple is a tree that offers a multitude of benefits, from its stunning ornamental value to its easy care and ecological contributions.

With the right conditions and care, the Sugar Tyme crabapple can provide a spectacular display of blooms, fruits, and fall color for you to enjoy year after year.

Embrace the beauty and resilience of this tree, and let it transform your garden into a vibrant, wildlife-friendly haven.

Still not sure which crabapple variety is best for you? Consider these additional options: