What should we do with our ornamental apple tree - it has yellow leaves with...

Asked June 23, 2014, 9:25 PM EDT

What should we do with our ornamental apple tree - it has yellow leaves with dark spots. This spring the flowers were almost white where the past years the blossoms were dark pink.

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

There could be many reasons why your crab apple is developing yellow leaves, spots or even dropping its leaves. The very wet weather this spring and early summer is the most likely culprit. Once well established crab apples are really very drought tolerant and actually prefer a drier foliage and more well drained soil environment. They ofter run into disease and decline problems in lawn areas where they may get too much water.

Here is a good article from the University of Colorado Extension that gives some other possible answers and clues to look for:


The spots and especially the bloom color change from dark pink to white is more intriguing; this could indicate anything from a seasonal aberation (like unusual cold or wetness), to a lacking nutrient, to fungal disease or viral infection depending on whether the condition persists this year and into the next.

If this article doesn't answer your questions, you can take some pictures of the tree with a closeup of the leaves and its trunk and upload/attach them to this response for followup, so we can do some more research for you.