Malus or Crab Apples are small to medium sized deciduous trees, not to be confused with the Malus Domestica which are cultivated eating apples although you can eat most crab apples but you may be in for a shock when you get the tart and tangy flavour and not a sweet apple taste. For this reason they are mainly harvested to make jams/jellies or they can be roasted and served with meat.
Crab apple trees have grey-brown bark that can become gnarled and twisted with age with leaves that are a glossy green oval shape with rounded teeth, in spring they are easily identified by the sweetly smelling flowers which range in colour from pure white to deep pink followed in Autumn by the small apple like fruits which can be either red or yellow depending on the variety.
Where to site your Crab Apple
Most varieties tend to be dwarf trees so are perfect for small gardens with their neat compact shape, perfect as a standalone specimen or in the border where you can colour match to really bring out the bright blossom colours in spring.
How to grow and look after your Crab Apple
Crab apple are adaptable but thrive best in moist, moderately fertile well-drained soil. They can be planted in partial shade but full sun (8 hours of direct sun) is required for the best show of fruits and flowers. They are very hardy plants and can withstand a cold UK winter.