Summer 2024You can now pre-order for next season. Deliveries will begin again in September for pot grown trees and December for bare-rooted or mixed tree orders.
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Elk River

Malus coronaria
Elk River is listed in the RHS Plants for Pollinators

Elk River is a form of Malus coronaria, the American Crab Apple, also known as the Sweet Crab Apple. This species is characterised by its cold-hardniess, late flowering period, and fragrant blossom.

Elk River features large fragrant flushed dusky pink single flowers in spring.

In autumn it produces small bright green persistent crab apples in autumn. These are not particularly palatable, but can be used for cider or preserves.

The leaves also take on autumnal tints.

Elk River crab-apple trees for sale

  • 11-year bare-root tree £36.75
    Medium size (2.5m-3.5m after 10 years)
  • 22-year pot-grown tree £72.00
    In a 12L pot
    Medium size (2.5m-3.5m after 10 years)
You can now pre-order for next season.

How to grow

Unlike most crab-apples, Elk River is not a good pollinator of mainstream apple varieties.

Elk River is very susceptible to cedar apple rust, although this is not usually an issue in the UK.


Elk River was discovered in the Elk River area of Minnesota in the 1930s, and introduced by the Niels Hansen of the South Dakota Agriculture Experiment Station.

Elk River characteristics

  • Gardening skillBeginner
  • Attractive featuresAttractive flowersAutumn foliage colourScented flowers
  • Growth habitSpreading / Flat-topped
  • Height after 10 years3m-5m / 10ft-16ft
  • SunlightPrefers full sun
  • PruningLight prune
  • Growth rateAverage
  • Site conditionsSheltered siteFree-draining site
  • WildlifeRHS Plants for Pollinators
  • Flower colourPink - light
  • Flower formSingle flower (5-8 petals)
  • Flowering monthMayJune
  • Leaf colourGreen
  • Leaf colour - autumnMultiple tints
  • Fruit colourGreen
  • Fruit sizeLarge
  • Fruit persistencePersistent
  • Country of originUnited States
  • Annual cycleDeciduous

How to choose a crab-apple tree

We list more than 40 different crab-apple trees. Choosing can be difficult! See our article explaining the different characteristics of crab-apple trees which will help you narrow down the selection.