We have friends who have a small apple tree her late father planted years and years ago, and we have no idea what it is. The tree is in a lousy location with no light, stuck in a rocky crag of hillside, but the fruit are beautiful. They were a bit shy of ripe, but we picked them to keep the black bears from destroying the tree. (They got several game cam pictures of the bears scarfing fruit from the ground and standing up, well over five feet tall on their hind legs, next to one of their trees.)The fruit had good flavor but was still a little starchy, and not as sharp as I might like but still pretty good. I’ll probably graft from this tree to one of their other apples in better shape.
Here’s a shot of them:
Lovely looking fruit. I’ve looked at a lot of crabapple types and never seen such solid red on the outside, without it being a redflesh crab, but I certainly haven’t seen them all.
Do you think they might actually be closer to full sized apples, but just small due to the location, lack of sun and condition of the tree?
I think that’s a real possibility, and I’m glad you brought it up. I’m calling them crabs because they’re small, but they might just be runty. But the fruit size was really consistent and uniform in spite of the small number of apples on the tree. I would expect runty apples to be all over the place on size. I know nothing about crabs so I’ll assume you’re more likely to be right than I!
I’m a little surprised too that they colored up so well in spite of the poor light. They are partly shaded by a full sized MacIntosh as well as other trees (tall firs, pines and spruces) and that Mac had a range of sizes. Even the smallest Mac apple was twice as big as these little guys. Grafting to that tree might tell us in a few years. Stay tuned …
Nice looking fruit. If you graft it on your own tree you may get it to be more ripe. Watch out for the black bears coming to visit.
Simply awesome. It might just be an excellent find.