Best of the bunch
●● CRAB Apple (Malus) THESE deciduous small trees are ideally grown as specimens in smaller gardens, bearing crab apples in autumn in colours ranging from yellow to red.
The leaves also change colour, going from yellow to orange, while in spring they produce masses of blossom ranging from white to pink and red.
Crab apples can be grown in any fertile well-drained soil in sun and will tolerate light shade.
They should be pruned in winter to remove diseased or damaged wood and misplaced shoots.
Good varieties include M. ‘John Downie’, which grows to 10m or M. ‘Marshal Oyama’, which is slightly smaller.
The small, sour fruits contain high pectin and acid contents, making them excellent for jam, paired with berries.
Traditional crab apple jelly can be served with meats and is great when perked up with a few chillies.