Skip to Content

What to Do When Your Crabapple Tree Leaves Suddenly Turn Brown or Yellow

What to Do When Your Crabapple Tree Leaves Suddenly Turn Brown or Yellow

Share this post:

Disclaimer: Some links found on this page might be affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, I might earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

So many people love having crabapple trees in their backyards. These crabapple trees can add a lot of charm to any property, and they look stunning at many different points in the year.

If you take care of your crabapple tree, then it should look pretty vibrant during the spring and summer months. However, some people have had issues with crabapple tree leaves turning brown or yellow.

When you know that it isn’t time for the leaves to fall off of your crabapple tree, it’s going to be concerning to see this happen. What could be causing crabapple tree leaves to turn brown or yellow this way?

Keep reading to learn what makes this happen and what you can do about it. Once you’ve gotten into the details, it’ll be easier to understand what steps you need to take.

Transplant Shock

One thing to consider before you jump to conclusions is that your tree could be experiencing transplant shock. If your crabapple tree is new or if it has recently been moved to your yard, then it might be in shock from the experience.

When trees are in shock, they’ll sometimes wind up having their leaves turn yellow. This yellow leaf situation might not be a big deal at all, and things might go back to normal once the tree has had time to acclimate.

Transplanted trees will regularly have at least a few yellow leaves. It would be a bit unusual for every leaf on the tree to turn yellow if transplant shock is to blame, though.

You can help the tree along by ensuring that you keep it watered properly. Just keep an eye on it while the roots are expanding into the soil and things should be fine.

Brown leaves can occur when crabapple trees aren’t getting enough moisture, but you can easily prevent this. As long as you’re paying attention to the tree, it’s unlikely that the issue will turn into a big deal.

Fertilizing the tree properly might be a good idea as well. This can help your new tree to grow healthy and establish itself on the property.

If the yellow leaf issue does get worse, then you’re going to have to consider what else could be wrong. There’s really only one other thing that it could be, and it’s not good.

Apple Scab

One Cause Of Crab Apple Leaves Turning Yellow May Be Apple Scab

The most likely reason for the leaves turning yellow will be apple scab. Apple scab is a type of fungal disease that is commonly seen on both apple and crabapple trees.

In many parts of the United States, this is a typical problem that people have to deal with all the time. Just because it’s common doesn’t mean that it’s nothing to worry about.

This is a very serious issue that can negatively impact your crabapple tree. This fungus grows when it’s humid and warm during the spring, and many places in North America are perfect for helping these fungi to thrive.

You’ll first notice this fungal disease presenting itself as spots on the foliage of your crabapple tree. The spots will be olive green, but they will turn black after a bit of time has passed.

Eventually, these spots will start to elongate and they’ll resemble velvet. At some point in the middle of the summer, the leaves of your crabapple tree will turn yellow.

After turning yellow, the leaves will completely drop from the tree and you’ll be left with the skeleton of a tree in your yard. Your beautiful tree will not be so presentable any longer, and you’ll be left wondering why unless you already know about apple scab.

Does Apple Scab Kill the Tree?

No, apple scab isn’t something that is going to kill your tree. The tree might become weakened if it gets attacked by this fungi for years, but it’s unlikely that the tree will die.

It isn’t impossible for apple scab to kill a tree, but it almost certainly won’t happen. This is especially true if this is the first year that you’ve ever seen this occur to the crabapple tree.

You’ll be disheartened when seeing the crabapple tree lose its leaves far earlier than it should. It can also cause significant cosmetic blemishes to the tree’s fruit.

The most significant danger to the tree will be the fact that apple scab can leave it in a weakened state. This could make the tree more susceptible to other problems, but you should be able to take care of it and things will be fine.

Preventing Apple Scab

Preventing apple scab from being able to harm your tree is going to be the best thing that you can do. You won’t be able to stop what has happened this year, but you can keep this from happening in subsequent years.

To keep apple scab from impacting your crabapple tree, it’s going to be necessary to treat the tree with fungicide sprays. You can get high-quality fungicide sprays that will keep apple scab and other types of fungal issues at bay all year.

You’ll need to keep using fungicide each year so that you don’t run the risk of having this happen again. It might seem to be an annoyance to some, but it’s truly going to be for the best.

Many people call professionals to administer the fungicide for them. You’ll likely be able to call a landscaping company that specializes in trees to get some help.

They can get you the fungicide that you need and will apply it for you so that things get done the right way. Of course, you can choose to buy fungicide spray yourself and try to handle it alone, but that might be slightly more complex.

It’s up to you to decide which route to take. Either way, you know that protecting the crabapple tree from apple scab moving forward is the recommended course of action.

You Can Get Disease-Resistant Crabapple Trees

It’s worth noting that you can purchase crabapple trees that are resistant to diseases. Some crabapple trees won’t have to worry about apple scab because they will simply be resistant to it.

If you’re worried about the potential of having to deal with apple scab, then it might be best to buy a disease-resistant crabapple tree if you ever decide to add another one to your yard.

The existence of disease-resistant trees isn’t a reason to give up on your current crabapple tree, though. It’s simply good to know and understand what your options are.

Final Thoughts

You’ve learned why crabapple trees might have their leaves turned yellow or brown. Generally, it’s going to be because of transplant shock or a disease known as apple scab.

If it’s simply happening due to transplant shock, then it should be easy to deal with. You’ll be able to simply care for the tree as normal until it bounces back.

Apple scab is an annoyance, but you can keep it from coming back next year by using fungicide spray. Just keep this in mind in the future so that you don’t have problems occur again.

You’ll also have the option of buying a disease-resistant tree if you want to. Just don’t give up hope for your original crabapple tree because apple scab is not likely going to kill it.

Share this post: