Crab Apple Tree Identification

Overview

Crab apple trees belong to the Rosaceae family of plants. There are more than 35 species of crab apples and more than 700 varieties within those species. While each of them has its own special characteristics, they all share the same basic traits.

Trunk

The trunk has a gray, rough and scaly bark. In older trees, the bark develops cracks.

Leaves

The leaves are deciduous, meaning they drop each fall and regrow each spring. They alternate on the branches as opposed to growing opposite one another. The shape can be round or oval, and the backs are smooth in most cases.

Buds

The buds appear in April and May and are usually a reddish brown with hairs. They are egg-shaped with many overlapping scales.

Flowers

The flowers are mostly white but can have a pink tinge. All crab apple flowers have five petals.

Fruits

Crab apple fruit is 2 inches or less in diameter. They can be red, yellow or green in color. The stem is long in relation to the size of the fruit, making it look more like a cherry than a regular apple. The fruit also has a very sour taste.

References

  • Crab Apple Facts
  • Crab Apple Tutorial
  • Crab Apple ID
Keywords: crab apples, apple trees, ornamental shrubs

About this Author

Regina Sass has been a writer for 10 years, penning articles for publications in the real estate and retail industries. Her online experience includes writing, advertising and editing for an educational website. Sass is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.