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I'm hoping to appeal to your collective knowledge, as I'm looking for recommendations on which crab apple tree to plant.

I've only got a small garden, and the spot in mind is going to be west facing and fairly sheltered, at the back of a deep border (ie one half of the garden!).

I'd love one with red/reddish fruit, and one with lighter rather than darker blossom (no very dark pink blossoms). Are there any with earlier blossoms than usual?

Basically, to fit with the wildlife theme of the garden - blossoms for bees, fruit for birds, and something interesting to look at for us humans.

Also, any tips on planting/caring for them to help them thrive? First tree I'll ever be buying!


One of my personal favourites :- Malus 'John Downie' ; pale pink blossom and scarlet fruits .


I have Malus 'Golden Hornet' in my garden. Loads of white flowers in Spring and then small golden fruits later on.

I like Red Sentinel; bright red fruits which stay on the tree til the new year.  White blossom in spring. 

Thank you all - Red Sentinel is the one I'd come across before, so glad to have this mentioned here as well. There's always so much choice online, but personal recommendations are far more valuable!

Will also check out the other two mentioned!

Last edited: 02 January 2018 20:20:55


Chrissy the gardener

I have John Downie, really good for making crab apple jelly.

Dont get a yellow fruiting crab apple, for some unknown reason the birds don’t take the fruit and so they rot on the tree.


I had John Donwie in my last garden, planted for the blackbirds but they just left the fruit where it fell.  Made good crab apple jelly.   If you're pushed for space I'd go for red sentinel as it can be found in columnar form.  John Downie is lovely but spreads its branches quite wide when happy.  I have come across malus "Laura" - fastigiate/columnar form, crimson flowers, red fruits and bronze foliage so might be an interesting foil to other plants.

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