Difference between cherry,crabapple, and plum blossoms?

West Babylon, NY(Zone 7a)

In my area we have wild cherry, crabapple, and plum, but we also have many domestic, non fruiting trees of these planted here. How can I distinguish what each tree is by there blossoms, they all look so similar! If you need I can take photos

Greensburg, PA

Plums bloom later than cherries or apples here.

West Babylon, NY(Zone 7a)

We had a mild Winter so all the trees opened up about the same time. Here are 3 images, could someone tell me what type of fruit trees they are?

Thumbnail by keithp2012 Thumbnail by keithp2012 Thumbnail by keithp2012
Lisle, IL(Zone 5a)

#2 looks like apple to me.

West Babylon, NY(Zone 7a)

Really, I thought apple flowers faded to white once they opened?

Vista, CA

Some trees do blossom before the leaves emerge, but there is a noticeable difference between the leaves. I grew many thousands of Flowering Crabs, and hundreds of Flowering Cherries and and Plums, and almost all of the Crab varieties had different blossoms, from rosebud type to flat petals, and from dark pink to white. Cherries had both pink and white, etc, but if you study the shape of ther tree and the leaves you will be able to recognize some of them. So study the trees after fruit sets, and you will be able to recognize SOME of them later.

I also see trees and wonder what some of them are. I can usually tell Flowering Pears, and the two main kinds of Flowering Plums, from their tree shape and blossoms, but Cherries and Crabs just have too many sub-varieties.


Vista, CA


One more thing. You can usually tell an Apple orchard from the Vertical water sprouts, or suckers that extend above the top of the tree. Those are sometimes kept pruned out, but are the only tree i know of that produces them in abundance.


Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

Apples usually (not always!) bloom on spurs on older wood. Cherries and most pit fruits bloom on last year's wood - straighter branches towards the outside of the tree. Plums are pit fruits but there is a lot a variability in plums, the same as crabapples. Everything in my Dad's orchard gets water sprouts, but I guess apples are the worst with pears a close second. Most (not all!) plum blossoms are white and very fragrant - they smell like honey to me.
I would suggest studying the leaves and bark up close and the shape and branching pattern from further away.

PS- #2 & #3 look like apples based on the leaves. #1 has more cherry/plum looking leaves. By now there should be fruit forming. That brings me to another difference in blossoms - pit fruits start forming the tiny fruit IN FRONT of the blossom. Apples and pears have the tiny fruit BEHIND the blossom - you can usually start to see them while the blossoms are still open.

This message was edited May 26, 2012 6:56 PM

Vista, CA

I only grew Shade and Ornamental Landscape trees, so what Pollen says is also new info for me. All three of the trees in the pictures could be crab apples of different varieties, as a lot of them have the tendency to come out red and then turn green, but perhaps fruit apples also do that. Or, like Pollen says, they could be something else. I did notice some of the early buds resembled rose buds, which many crabs do, but i do not know if fruit apples have new red leaves or not.


Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or register to post.

Upload Images to your reply

    You may upload up to 5 images