Crabapple ID request

There is a nice crabapple that is the only tree still alive in an old orchard nearby. Maybe planted in the 40’s; maybe earlier. The tree is half dead but the side alive still produces nice, clean, pretty 1 1/2" crabapples. I’m wondering if it might be a named variety and if anyone knows what it might be? Flavor is tart but pleasant enough, not astringent. Last year it was not quite ripe the end of Sept. (first photo of fruit in a bowl). This year I picked some off the ground Oct. 21 and they were past ripe texture wise, fully red and brown seeds. Possibly fruit still on the tree is OK but it was out of reach and I didn’t feel like shimminging up to get it.



It’s certainly possible it’s a seedling, but it’s in line with the other old orchard trees and seems similar age so I’m guessing it was planted on purpose. Maybe it’s a sucker from someone else’s crab. We knew the woman whose orchard it was (a small farm/homestead orchard typical of that era and our area) so it has particular interest to me, but it’s also a real nice crab. I have a graft growing in my orchard, and some seedings in the nursery. Unfortunately when she was alive I wasn’t interested in local old fruit trees, and didn’t even know till recently that it was her orchard. But I can well imagine her making jelly or spiced crabapples. I’m calling it Emma’s Crabapple, probably even if I find out it’s a named variety. But I can’t help but wonder. Sue


I’m only guessing, but wonder if it is one of the old duchess-cross crab types like Olga. I have a little tree I started from GRIN wood but squirrels have gotten the fruit before they’re ripe so I can tell if the taste matches your description.


I don’t know what variety you have but your taste description is perfect for the crab taste that I like.


Unless the previous owners were into grafting, there aren’t many large edible crabs that were planted (or are now for that matter). I’d guess Chestnut


Hope your right. I recently grafted in Chestnut on a few limbs.

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Chestnut is hands down the best culinary crabapple I’ve eaten.


It also looks like Whitney but it is too late ripening to be Whitney. Chestnut seems like the closest match to me as well, but there were many crabs grown in the past which are obscure now and it could be one of those. It used to be common to have a crab in every orchard for jelly and other cooking needs.


How nice it would be if this were a great tasting crab like Whitney or Chestnut! But it’s just a common tart apple flavor, nothing special, OK to nibble but not one I’d go out of my way to eat. At 1 1/2" it’s kinda small, too. Good for spiced crabs though. But the clear solid red skin color, white flesh, and long dark red stem makes me think it’s something else. Quite likely, as Scott said, an obscure variety. Too bad I didn’t know about good named varieties back when we planted crabapples on our new homestead. But I do have a Chestnut graft growing now. And sounds like I really should get a Whitney.

And for now, our small pretty red edible crab will remain “Emma’s Crab”, safely grafted onto one of our own seedling crabs so it will continue if the old tree in the old orchard dies. Sue