Field Allotments at Amerton
By Mrs FM
Herbs & Other
Issues And Going Green.
And Other Climbing Plants.
Alan J Hartley
Crab Apples are of
course Malus and simply another type of Apple tree that is edible, but
not very tasty for people as they are quite sour, although wildlife like
Deer love them. Often in the Winter months, when it gets very cold,
Blackbirds can also be seen pecking away at them. As cultivated Apple
trees, most Crab Apples that can be bought in retail outlets are grafted
onto a root stock to control their growth. Living anything up to 100
years, Crab Apples can be very small trees reaching only a couple of
metres in height or some varieties can grow much larger getting up to 10
metres, although most tree only grow to 4 or 5 metres.
Ordinary eating apple trees often need a “Pollinator,” that is another
apple tree which is in flower at the same time to pollinate them and
ensure fruit. However, most Crab Apple Trees are self fertile, not
needing another tree for pollination, and produce lots of flowers over a
relatively long period of time making them a good general pollinator for
other Apple Trees. Apple Tree flowers are usually white, so as a general
rule when you see similar fruit trees in gardens on the roadside, those
with pink blossom are Cherries and those with white flowers are Apples.
Flowers make a show in the Spring and are followed by Apples at the end
of Summer. Varieties like “Golden Hornet,” have, as its name suggests,
yellow fruit and likewise “Red Sentinel,” has red Crab Apples.
Crab Apples can be used to make “Crab Apple Jelly,” a popular old
fashioned sauce that is often eaten with Pork. High in pectin, Crab
Apples can be added to other fruit to aid setting when making jams.
It is possible to grow trees from pips, but if they come from a
cultivated variety with a fancy apple, you may not get the same apple on
your new tree, but instead get a wild one. As an Apple Tree you may want
to prune your Crab Apple Tree to shape it up and pruning is very much
the same as for other Apple Trees. Winter pruning is generally done to
remove crossing and other unwanted branches and Summer pruning is done
after the fruit has developed in late Summer/Autumn to create fruiting
Spurs on Trained Trees such as Fans or Espaliers.