Crab Apple Trees | Malus Trees

Malus or Crab Apple trees offer wonderful prolific spring blossom as well as decorative autumn fruits in a wide range of colours, sizes and shapes. Referred to as "Jewels of the Landscape", Crab Apples come in many shades of golden orange, yellow, pink, red and purple. They are sour when eaten raw, but larger varieties are excellent for using in jellies or preserves and even added to cider.

Choosing & Growing Crab Apple Trees

Crab Apple trees are modest in height and it is this, along with their strong spring and autumn features, that make them so popular in small gardens. Originally from temperate regions in the northern hemisphere, Crab Apple trees grow well in virtually all soils (other than waterlogged or very dry) in sun or partial shade. With around 40 species and hundreds of hybrids of Malus, there is a huge choice of both features and size/form of these trees.

Crab Apple trees come in rounded, upright, weeping and dwarf forms. Malus 'Sun Rival' and 'Royal Beauty' are amongst the best weeping varieties, whilst Malus 'Red Obelisk' and tschonoskii are excellent upright varieties. Malus 'Coralburst' and sargentii 'Tina' are dwarf varieties ideal for the smallest of gardens.

Crab Apple trees are named after the compact size of their fruits, which vary from 1cm to 5cm in diameter (any larger and they would be considered a normal apple). Varieties with large fruits are both highly decorative and productive, producing crab apples suitable for culinary use - some examples include Malus 'John Downie', 'Rosehip' and Marble. Flowers can be white through to dark purple, with bright pink buds being a feature even on some white flowering varieties. For unusual double flowers, look at Malus 'Snowcloud' and for large pink flowers, look at Malus 'Rudolph'.

Many Crab Apple trees have green leaves similar to those on apple trees, but there are a number of varieties with lobed, bronzed or purple foliage. Malus toringo 'Aros' is a dwarf variety with particularly rich dark purple foliage, wheras Malus toringo 'Scarlett' has deeply lobed foliage.

Uses & Benefits of Crab Apple Trees

Beyond being decorative, there are many other uses of Crab Apple trees. They are particularly beneficial to wildlife, with the flowers attracting many types of bee who come looking for the nectar and the fruits are eaten by birds. As mentioned above, the larger fruits are also suitable for culinary use such as making crab apple jelly or chutney. Crab Apple trees produce huge quantities of pollen so are used as pollinisers in orchards. They are sometimes also used for practicing the art of bonsai.

Mythology & Folklore of The Crab Apple Tree

Folk lore states that if you throw crabapple pips into a fire whilst saying the name of the person you love you can discover if it really is true love as the pips will explode. If they don't explode, it means that sadly, that person is not meant for you. In Celtic culture, the wood was burned during fertility festivals as a good luck charm.

Crabapple trees have been regularly mentioned in literature, with Shakespeare incorporating them into both A Midsummer Night's Dream and Love's Labour Lost.

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  • Malus 'Evereste' Crab Apple tree
    From £49.99 (VAT Free)
  • Malus 'Sun Rival' tree
    From £49.99 (ex VAT)
  • Malus x robusta 'Red Sentinel' Crab Apple tree Special Offer
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  • Malus Butterball New Arrival
    £49.99 (VAT Free)
  • Malus brevipes 'Wedding Bouquet' New Arrival
    £49.99 (ex VAT)
  • Malus 'Jelly King' Crab Apple tree New Arrival
    £49.99 (VAT Free)
  • Malus 'Royal Beauty' tree
    £59.99 (ex VAT)
  • Malus toringo 'Scarlett' New Arrival
    £49.99 (ex VAT)
  • Malus x floribunda
    From £49.99 (ex VAT)
  • Malus 'Aros' Crab Apple tree
    £49.99 (ex VAT)
  • Malus 'John Downie' tree
    £49.99 (VAT Free)
  • Malus 'Gorgeous' tree
    £49.99 (VAT Free)
  • Malus 'Comtesse de Paris' tree
    £49.99 (ex VAT)
  • Malus 'Rudolph' Crab Apple tree
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  • Malus sargentii 'Tina' Crab Apple
    From £49.99 (ex VAT)
  • Malus 'Coralburst' Crab Apple
    £49.99 (ex VAT)
  • Malus x robusta Fruitilicious Crab Apple tree New Arrival
    £49.99 (VAT Free)
  • Malus × purpurea 'Crimson Cascade' New Arrival
    £49.99 (ex VAT)
  • Malus 'Red Obelisk'
    £49.99 (ex VAT)
  • Malus hupehensis tree
    £49.99 (VAT Free)
  • Malus 'Royalty'
    £49.99 (ex VAT)
  • Malus tschonoskii tree
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  • Malus 'Rosehip' Tree
    £49.99 (VAT Free)
  • Bee landing on Malus Marble Nuvar
    £49.99 (VAT Free)
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