Butterball Crabapple (Malus butterball) 1Butterball Crabapple (Malus butterball) 1Butterball Crabapple (Malus butterball) 2Butterball Crabapple (Malus butterball) 3Butterball Crabapple (Malus butterball) 4

Butterball Crab Apple, Large Trees

Malus Butterball (Standard)Plant guarantee for 1 yearFeefo logo

The details

Delivered in Large Sizes
  • Final height/spread: 5m x 5m
  • Foliage: deciduous
  • Use: specimen
  • Features: white spring blossom, yellow-orange crab apples
  • Gold autumn colour.
  • Max. Height: 6m
  • Soil: well drained
  • RHS Award of Garden Merit
  • Bareroot Delivery: Oct-Mar.
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£ 59.99

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Butterball Crabapple Standard Trees

It's hard to pin down the best thing about Malus Butterball. It is a great wildlife attractant. Bees and other pollinators adore the clouds of spring blossom, which is a delicate pink in bud, opening to pure white, and the crabs which are a rich yellow - blushing red in a sunny spot - usually ripen in October are a great food source for all kinds of birds. Butterball is also self-fertile, producing up to 10 times the amount of pollen of an ordinary apple tree. The fruit makes a wonderful, zingy bright jelly too, just the ticket with a Sunday roast. Or try your hand at crab apple liqueur with vodka and sugar.

As a tree, Butterball is spreading and slightly drooping, especially under the weight of its fruit in autumn. As a standard, it will grow to 6 metres or so in height while half standards can be kept to 3.5-4 metres making them ideal if your garden is on the small side.

Browse the rest of our range of crab apple trees

Planting and design

Give Butterball a little space as it makes a good focal point. Give it pride of place, so it can be seen and admired, whether covered in flowers in spring or with the branches dripping with fruit in autumn. So don't hide it away. Crab apples aren't too fussy about soil or sunlight really, as long as it's fairly free draining, although the sunnier the spot the redder the fruit. Butterball will fit right in with a cottage garden scheme, with its pretty blossom, hanging branches and relaxed habit. Underplant with a few spring bulbs if you feel inclined, something cottagey like crocuses, daffodils or bluebells for a relaxed, naturalistic feel.


  • Final height/spread: 3-5m x 3-5m (depending on form)
  • Foliage: deciduous
  • Use: specimen
  • Features: white spring blossom, yellow-orange crabs in autumn
  • Soil: well-drained, in sun or light shade
  • RHS Award of Garden Merit

Did You Know?

In some south-east Asian countries crab apples are used as a sour condiment, with shrimp paste, chilli and salt. Butterball also makes fantastic jelly.

Planting Instructions

Notes on planting Malus Butterball:
Crab apples are tough plants that thrive in any moderately fertile soil. They tolerate shade well, although we recommend planting them in full sun to get the best display of flowers and fruit. Although a moist, well drained site is ideal, crab apples like heavy clay and don't mind a bit of waterlogging in winter.
They won't grow in deep shade and may struggle in very poor dry soil.

Prepare your site before planting:
It is good to dig over the site where you plant a tree several months in advance. Kill the weeds first: for tough weeds like nettles, brambles and ground elder, you will usually need a weed-killer to get rid of them. When you dig the soil over, remove stones and other rubbish and mix in well rotted compost or manure down to the depth of about 2 spades.

Watch our video on how to plant a tree for full instructions.
Remember to water establishing trees during dry weather for at least a year after planting.

Tree Planting accessories:
Prepare your site for planting by killing the weeds and grass with Neudorff WeedFree Plus.
You can buy a tree planting pack with a wooden stake & rubber tie to support the tree and a mulch mat with pegs to protect the soil around the base of your tree from weeds and drying out.
We suggest that you use mycorrhizal "friendly fungi" on the roots of all newly planted large trees: if your soil quality is poor, we strongly recommend it.
You can also improve your soil with bonemeal organic fertiliser and Growmore.