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Wellington Fields Allotments - Hixon.


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By Mrs FM

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Tree Project.

Crab Apple.

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.



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