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seeking Crabapple suggestions

Peter K.


Joined: Apr 19, 2011
Posts: 114
Location: South Carolina Zone 8
Okay I know crabapples are not most folks cup of tea but I like them and my youngest daughter has been after me to plant a few like grandma had. I also know they are good for wildlife and might get them to leave my pear trees alone not that there is a problem yet but then they are still small and I did not let them bear fruit last year wanting them to put energy into growing not fruit. My problem is I have no clue what variety my mom had. I do know they were red and bigger than my thumb but not quite golf ball sized either. There were no thorns on the tree (I have seen a southern variety with thorns) and they grew well in fact better than her apple trees. Now I live only 30 miles from where those were grown so I am still in the same zone. I consider myself solidly in zone 8 but geographically I am in South Carolina inland a little NW about 50 miles from Charleston so that should give you an idea of specifics. Anyone got any clue as to what my mothers may have been? Any suggestions as to which one(s) to plant keeping in mind my wife hates plants with thorns (including blackberry but she loves the fruit)? Anyone got any suggestions to inexpensive sources because quite frankly no one here carries them in any variety including nurseries (at least that is the results so far) and I think the prices shipped for a decent tree I have seen online so far is outrageous especially considering I want 3 or more depending on price.
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 5843
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
  87
So many crab apples it's hard to say.  Here is a very old southern crab apple from a NC nursery.  Washington & Jefferson both grew this variety.  (Hewes)
Their prices are $20 each for 4 or less.

http://www.centuryfarmorchards.com/descripts/osapage2.html

Hope it helps.  I usually recommend buying trees as close to home as possible.
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4432
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    4
i have the Stark's Bros POle variety of crabapple, it grows tall and thin and is gorgeous, it has really large crabapples that are burgundy and are very nice..they are still selling it, check them out online or get their catalog.

I have even transplanted this after our housefire and it was the ONLY tree that survived transplanting in our yard, so they are darned solid trees


Brenda

Bloom where you are planted.
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/
Ran Prieur


Joined: Jun 01, 2010
Posts: 66
Location: Spokane and near Diamond Lake, WA
    
    1
Vintage Virginia Apples is close to your region and lists eight different crabs. Don't know if they still sell them, since the page seems to have been last updated in 2009.

Also, it is not widely known that a "crabapple" is not a subspecies of apple, but just any apple variety that produces a larger number of smaller fruits. They can have the same range of flavors as full-size apples. I'm growing a Centennial and a Chestnut, but haven't had any fruit yet.
Peter K.


Joined: Apr 19, 2011
Posts: 114
Location: South Carolina Zone 8
Thanks for the info and websites. Not to sound cheap but I am used to getting fruit trees $12-$15 for nice 7'+- trees apples included. Pre-shipping I am looking at almost $23 per tree. I guess I will have to either go ahead and spend the money or keep looking because I hope to plant some this fall.
BTW I use crabapple to describe a small tart apple and I have seen several types most of which were planted for ornamental value and the owners never realized you could actually eat them. They used to be common and sold everywhere a few years ago sometimes in with the fruit trees and sometimes flowering. But flash forward to me wanting to plant a few and none are to be had and I get funny looks asking for them.
Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1238
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  14
Peter K. wrote:
They used to be common and sold everywhere a few years ago sometimes in with the fruit trees and sometimes flowering. But flash forward to me wanting to plant a few and none are to be had and I get funny looks asking for them.


Dwarf apple trees are the thing these days... Grab some seeds from whatever and go... most of them have some crab in  them. The crabs next to us are plum size, tart with red flesh, taste nice dried.
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4432
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    4
the apples on the pole crab I mentioned above are quite large for crabs..about an inch and a half in diam or two..I have seen crabs smaller than cherries as well..

I believe some of the other "berry" bushes and trees are relatives of apple as they appear like miniature apples and are semi edible to edible..but aren't true crabapples..or apples.

I also have found that the crabs seem to hang onto the tree longer, rather than falling like most of the larger apples..thus bletting over the winter and then becoming food for wildlife later in the cold seasons
Jeanine Gurley
steward

Joined: May 23, 2011
Posts: 1385
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
    
    6
Peter, I would love to know if you find a good crabapple.  I am told that they are great pollinators for all kinds of apples and pretty to boot.  Since I am in your area what ever works for you will probably work for me too.


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