Pruning crabapple to keep small

Q: I planted a crabapple seedling last year that has rapidly grown to 10 feet with branches. Do I need to trim it to shape it?

A: Here are my recommendations:

Remove the lower-most limb (the one growing strongly up through the tree). It will always be a visual distraction.

At the top of the central trunk I think I see where it splits into three. Make a cut an inch below the split, removing all three

This may seem severe but you don’t have much room for the tree in your landscape. In years to come you’ll need to shorten most limbs by 6″ and remove any sprouts at the top of the trunk sometime in January or February.

In this way the tree will be kept small and won’t spread all over your flower bed and grass.

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