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The Best Crabapple Cultivars for North Dakota

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Ripe crabapples on tree branches
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The tart flavor of crabapple makes it popular for canning and in making jellies. This fruit is grown just like apples. 

Red crabapples on a tree branch

A crabapple will pollinate an apple tree and vice versa. Most crabapples are partially self-fruitful but will produce higher yields in the presence of another apple or crabapple cultivar. These following cultivars are hardy to Zone 3 and are listed in order of ripening:

CULTIVAR

DESCRIPTION

Dolgo

Russian variety popular for its bright white flowers and brilliant red fruits. The 1-inch fruits make good jelly. Tree resists scab and fire blight. Fruit ripens in late August.

Centennial

A progeny of ‘Dolgo’ and ‘Wealthy’. Large (1.75 to 2 inches) fruit is one of the best for fresh eating. Red blush over orange skin. Short storage life.

Whitney

Large, yellow fruits with red stripes. The juicy, slightly yellow flesh is good for preserving and pickling.

Chestnut

Prized for its mildly tart, nut-like flavor. Fruits have a reddish-bronze skin and average more than 2 inches in diameter. The yellowish flesh is good for fresh use and desserts. Ripens in mid to late September.

Source:  and Kathy Wiederholt of North Dakota State University Extension; Charles Elhard and Jamie Good of North Dakota Department of Agriculture. Reviewed 2019. Starting a Community Orchard in North Dakota.  Photo courtesy of Larry Krause.