Malus sp.

trees in flowerCrab apples grow in woods, on the edges of fields, and on the edges of prairies. Their flowers are perfect for many insects. The tree yeilds fleshy, yellow-green pomes which are fragrant, waxy, and 1-1 1/2" in diameter. These are eaten by bobwhite, pheasant, and songbirds. The tree is of high value as nesting cover. The flowers are large and pink and emerge before the leaves unfold. The tree often forms thickets.

Description: Small thorny deciduous tree. Height 16m

Habitat: Common in Oak woods and hedges.

The Tree Year:
Flowers -- May
Leaves -- April
Fruit -- Ripens in the fall.

Timber: Hard close grained wood.

Uses of Wood: Wood carving, inlay work, mallets, screws. Good firewood with pleasant aroma.

Food and Drink: The attractive small fruit are extremely sour but make good jelly by themselves or with blackberries or rowan berries. Crab Apple wine is reported to be potent.


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This key was developed by "bt" in June 1982. It was put into HTML format by Stephen Ostermiller in July 1997. Copies of the entire guide in zip format that may be taken to camp on a laptop are available to those who write.