Raspberry Spear® Crabapple

Malus ‘JFS KW213MX’ PP31,008

Description & Overview

A brilliant display of magenta-pink flowers in spring, this narrow cultivar is perfect for a confined space that needs added interest. Raspberry Spear® Crabapple is has excellent disease resistance and persistent brightly colored fruit, which birds will love. An excellent choice as a street tree, or in an urban setting as it is also tolerant of a wide variety of soil conditions.

Core Characteristics

Wisconsin Native: No – Variety of North American Native
Mature Height: 18-20ft
Mature Spread: 7-8ft
Growth Rate: Slow
Growth Form: Narrow, upright columnar
Light Requirements: Full Sun
Site Requirements: Prefers moist, well-drained soils and compacts soils
Flower: Magenta pink
Bloom Period: April-May
Foliage: Glossy dark purple to green
Fall Color: Bronze/orange tints
Fruit Notes: Persistent maroon to deep red

Suggested Uses:

Crabapple trees are traditionally used as ornamental trees in the landscape, and Raspberry Spear® Crabapple will be nothing short of a WOW! factor in spring. Its densely narrow, upright habit allows it to be used in tight spaces where traditional crabapple wouldn’t fit. Use in a foundation planting, narrow spaced screening hedge, as a street tree or in a parkway. Tolerant of a variety of soil conditions, this tree is very compatible for an urban setting. While it prefers well-drained, moist soil it will still perform well in compacted soils. Place in full sun location.

Wildlife Value:

Brilliant colored flowers attract pollinators like bees and butterflies in spring. Birds will feast on most of the purple-red fruit the persists late fall to early winter, leaving little to none to hit the ground – a benefit for humans (no mess) and the birds (tasty source of food).

The opportune placement sites of this tree in small urban settings will give more pollinators the chance to benefit where otherwise they may not.

Maintenance Tips:

Raspberry Spear® Crabapples hold a healthy combination of columnar growth habit with short internodes, this results in compact growth habit. Minimal pruning is needed to maintain its narrow, upright shape.

It is recommended to site in a full sun location, with moist-well draining soil. However, it will tolerant a variety of other soil locations.


Proven to have excellent apple scab, firelight, mildew, and Cedar-apple rust resistance, Raspberry Spear® is a superior choice to other magenta-flowering or purple-leaf crabapple varieties.

Leaf Lore:

Introduced by Keith Warren at J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co. Nursery in Boring, Oregon. This cultivar will be found at few select nurseries. A sister variety ‘Ivory Spear’ was also introduced with similar size, and white flowers.

Companion Plants:

In a landscape bed setting, combine with later blooming perennials to not take away from its spectacular spring show. Try Pink Cat Catmint, Montrose White Calamint, Hummelo Lambs Ear, or a mass of Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum). Use dwarf shrub cultivars as accents in small spaces like Mariken Ginkgo, Arctic Fire™ Dogwood and BoBo™ Hydrangea.

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