2016

 
 

Apples/Crabapples are in the genus Malus which has about 35 (some authorities say 55) species of deciduous trees and shrubs found throughout the northern hemisphere’s temperate woodlands. The leaves are alternate, oval to elliptic, and serrated. The name Malus is from the Greek melon, and refers to the fleshy fruits. Malus is a member of the Rosaceae family. Member of the genus are known commonly as orchard or table apples, wild apples, crab apples or crabs. And it is the Crab apple which makes such a splendid ornamental for small gardens.  In spring they produce fragrant flowers, singly or in clusters, and the flowers are followed by fruits both edible and ornamental. The fruit is variable in size and quality with some being best for jams while others are sweet and can be eaten raw. And the fruit is rich in pectin which is useful in helping other fruit jams to jell or set.

There are literally hundreds of beautiful crabapples now growing across vastly different areas of the globe and one that is a real stand-out is 'Evereste', which is often referred to as the most beautiful crabapple. In spring Evereste bears deep red buds that explode into sweetly-fragrant, long-lasting white flowers that smother the branches and are a magnet for bees. This spectacular bloom is then followed by bright red fruits which are a blessing to wildlife, and will persist on the tree well into the winter if the birds don't get them. And the fruit, mixed with other apples, make a great cider and an excellent apple-butter. And finally, in autumn, the leaves turn gold and red before falling to reveal the fruit decorating the bare branches.

Evereste crabapple has a broadly conical form, slightly weeping, with maturity, and may eventually reach 20 feet tall by 20 feet wide, a size well-adapted to the modern garden. It is extremely disease-resistant and easy to maintain. Minimal pruning, if needed, should be done in late winter or early spring, when the tree is fully dormant and only to remove damaged limbs or crossing shoots. Evereste crabapple should be grown in moist but well-drained soil in full sun. If there is only room for one crabapple, Evereste is it.

The Royal Horticultural Society's Woody Plant Committee awarded Malus ‘Evereste’ an Award of Garden Merit.

Evereste crabapple

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