61. CRABAPPLE, Malus sp. 

Flowering crabapple in spring, Westmoor Arboretum.

At the top of the Flowering Dogwood Row by the fence you'll find a small Crabapple tree. It was planted here in the late 90s by a previous Park Naturalist, Ken Garrahan.  It flowers every Spring, and both the blossoms and fruit are a delight.


Beautiful spring flowers of Crabapple tree.

The beautiful Spring flowers appear in mid-to-late April.  There are more than 700 different cultivars of Crabapple, and while the Park has records of the planting, no records exist on the cultivar.  Crabapples support over 200 species of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) and many baby birds are sustained by being fed caterpillars and moth larvae.  Another example of how trees contribute positively to our environment.


Crabapple tree with fruit.

While some Crabapple cultivars produce their fruit in the Fall, this Crabapple produces fruit in August.  This image taken on August 15, 2022, shows the tree in full bloom.


Fruit of the Crabapple tree, Westmoor Arboretum.

Not only are there hundreds of Crabapple cultivars, but there are also a huge number of Apple varieties as well.  They all share the same genus, Malus. In fact, the main difference between an Apple and Crabapple is their size.  Greater than 2 inches = Apple.  Less than 2 inches = Crabapple.  The fruits on this tree are small (about 1 inch) and look a lot like Apples.  These crabapples taste sweet.