I have a crabapple that I estimate to be no older than 24 years. It sits on a corner of my property in full sun, year-round. I am trying to decide if I should take it down and replace it with something else. With the harsh weather in the last few years in NJ, the tree has been getting sadder and sadder looking - not flowering much, if at all, in spring, and looking horribly sparse in summer. Based on age alone, I don't think this tree is in its declining years, but perhaps its decline was hastened by stress of the weather the last few years? We had one bad snowy winter followed by a hot, hot summer and it was after this that I noticed the decline in the tree. The hurricanes and the hot summer that just passed have not helped matters.
The flowering of this tree in spring before the snowy winter was absolutely breath-taking. I hate to take it down. However, we are planning to plant new trees in the general vinicity of the crabapple this year (to replace bradfords that the hurricanes destroyed) and I do not want to leave the crabapple alone, only to watch it continue to decline.