Crabapples

Fine for jellies or pickled whole fruit, crabapples are also the most decorative of fruit trees. Flowers range from red to pink to white. The fruits are of many sizes, from tiny cherrylike varieties to large, yellow, pink-cheeked kinds. The varieties sold for their flowers also have edible fruit, but the iarge-fruited varieties are better if your aim is to grow the fruit for jelly.

Crabapples range from small, 10-foot trees to spreading trees 25 feet tall. The large-fruited kinds are larger trees. If you have no space but want a light crop for jelly, graft a branch to an existing apple tree. All types are self-fertile, but you can graft several kinds that bloom at different times onto one tree to extend the flowering season.

Crabapples are subject to the same diseases as apples, and scab is a major problem for some varieties. Choose resistant kinds.

Varieties

The following includes both large-fruiting kinds and those that are mainly ornamental, but all offer a good crop of smaller fruits. Use red- or pink-fruited varieties if you want pink jelly. 'Barbara Ann' This ornamental offers dark, reddish purple, '/2-inch fruit with reddish pulp. The tree produces a profusion of 2-inch, purple-pink, full, double flowers. It grows to about 25 feet tall and is reasonably disease resistant. Origin: Massachusetts. 'Chestnut' This very large, bronze-red crabapple is big enough to make a good dessert or lunchbox fruit, and can also be used to make a deep pink jelly. Its flavor is especially pleasing. The tree is very hardy, medium sized, and reasonably disease resistant. Origin: Minnesota.

  • Dolgo' The smallish, oblong red fruit is juicy and, if picked before fully ripened, gels easily into a ruby-red jelly. The tree is hardy, vigorous, and productive. The fruit ripens in September. Widely available. Origin: Russia.
  • Florence' The large yellow fruit has an attractive red blush. Use it for pale pink jelly or for pickling whole. The tree is medium sized and somewhat tender, so it is best planted in warmer regions. It ranges from fairly to very productive. Widely available. Origin: Minnesota.
  • Hyslop' This medium-sized fruit is yellow blushed with red. Use it whole for relishes or for pale pink jelly. The tree is fairly hardy and ornamental, with single pink flowers. Origin: Unknown. 'Katherine' The tiny fruit of this variety is an attractive yellow with a heavy red blush. It can be made into a pink jelly. The tree is small, slow growing, and fairly hardy, but it flowers and fruits only every other year. It grows about 15 feet tall and is reasonably disease resistant. It has double flowers that open pink and then fade to white. Origin: New York.
  • Montreal Beauty' This me-dium-sized green crabapple with red striping makes good jelly on its own or is a good base for mint or rose geranium jellies. The tree is medium to large, hardy, and fairly disease resistant. Locally available. Origin: Quebec, Canada. 'Profusion' The tiny scarlet fruit of this variety is good in jellies. The tree spreads only slightly, is small (about 15 feet), and produces small single flowers that are deep red in bud and open to purplish red to blue pink. It is moderately susceptible to mildew. Origin: Holland. 'Siberian Crab' This variety bears an abundance of clear scarlet, medium-sized fruit that can be jellied or pickled whole. The tree is vase-shaped and reaches 15 to 30 feet tall, depending on climate and soil. The 1-inch-wide white flowers are fragrant, Some strains are disease resistant, and some are not. Origin: Russia. 'Transcendent' These large yellow crabapples are blushed with pink on one side. Use them for clear jellies or eat them fresh if you like the wild, astringent flavor. The tree is medium to large and somewhat disease resistant, but not very hardy. Origin: Unknown.
  • Whitney' An old favorite, this variety has very large fruit, good for fresh eating, jelly, preserves, and apple butter. The fruit is yellow with red stripes. The tree is hardy, medium to large, and reasonably disease resistant. Widely available. Origin: Illinois. 'Young America' The large and abundant red fruit on this variety makes a clear red jelly with splendid flavor. The tree is especially vigorous, and the fruit ripens about mid-September. Origin: New York.

Figs

Although the fig is generally thought of as a subtropical fruit suited mainly to the warmer parts of the country, some varieties will bear in the milder parts of the

Hardy Fig Presidents Choice Pictures
  • Brown Turkey'
  • Mission'
  • Brown Turkey'

Northwest and Northeast, If a freeze knocks the plant down, it will sprout again quickly.

In warm regions the fig bears big, juicy fruit in early summer, then sets a heavier crop of small fruit, perfect for drying, in the fall. It lives for many years, loves clay soil if drainage is good, and needs next to no attention. You have a choice of dark fruit with red flesh or greenish-yellow fruit with bright pink flesh.

In cold-winter regions fig shrubs reach 10 feet tall and spread that much or more. In warm regions trees reach 15 to 30 feet and spread wide and low, but you can easily cut them back or confine them. Figs can also be grown as container plants for use on a patio, allowing you to protect them in winter by moving the container to a garage or storage area.

Figs are not really fruit in the botanical sense. They are flowers, borne on the inside of a balloonlike stem and accessible to the outside world only through a hole at the base.

Most home garden varieties of figs need no pollination. The California commercial fig, 'Calimyrna', docs need a special type of pollinating and is not recommended for home use.

No fruit thinning is necessary and figs need no attention to pests or disease. See page 48 for pruning and training information.

Varieties

  • Adriatic' The fruit is green skinned with a strawberry-pink pulp. In hot areas the second crop has a paler pulp, and in cool areas the fruit of both crops is larger. The tree is vigorous and large. This fig is used principally for drying and for processing into figbars in California. Locally available. Origin: Italy.
  • Brown Turkey' There are two 'Brown Turkey' varieties. 'Brown Turkey' of California ('Black Spanish', 'Negro Largo', 'San Piero') A good variety for fresh use, the large fruit is violet-brown to purplish black on the outside and strawberry-pink inside. Prune heavily. Origin: Italy. 'Brown Turkey' of the eastern United States The medium-sized fruit is coppery brown with strawberry-pink pulp. The flavor is very good. Good for container culture. 'Celeste' ('Blue Celeste', 'Celestial', 'Malta', 'Sugar') The bronzy fruit has a violet tinge and the pulp is amber with rose tones. 'Celaste' is the most widely recommended fig in the Southeast but is also grown in the West. A hardy plant. Origin: Malta. 'Conadria' One parent is Adriatic'. The fruit is thin skinned and white with a violet blush. The red flesh resists spoilage. The tree is vigorous and precocious, producing two crops. Recommended for the hot valleys of California. Locally available. Origin: California.
  • Kadota' ('Florentine') The fruit is tough skinned and greenish yellow, and the first crop has a richer flavor. This is principally a canning and drying variety. Recommended for hot California valleys. Origin: Italy.
  • King'('Desert King') The fruit is green with flecks of white; the pulp is violet-pink. The tree coines back from the roots after a freeze and bears in fall. Recommended for Oregon fig climates. Locally available. Origin: California. 'Latterula' ('White Italian Honey Fig') This large greenish yellow fig with honey-colored pulp grows on a very hardy tree that bears
  • Mission'

two crops. Recommended for Oregon fig climates. Locally available. Origin: Italy. 'Magnolia' ('Brunswick', 'Madonna') This is a large straw-colored fig on a fairly hardy tree. Recommended for the Southeast. Origin: England.

'Mission' ('Black Mission')

This variety bears two heavy crops of black fruit with deep red pulp. The first crop has larger fruit; the second crop can be dried. The tree is large and vigorous. Recommended for California and desert regions but also grown in warmer southeastern zones. Origin: Spain—but came to California via Mexico. 'Texas Everbearing' ('Dwarf Everbearing') The fruit and tree resemble 'Brown Turkey'. This variety will resprout after a freeze kills the top. Recommended for the South.

Also check the local availability of 'Granata', 'Ne-gronne', and 'Neveralla' in Oregon; 'Genoa' ('White Genoa') and 'Osborne Prolific' on the California coast; and 'Green Ischia' and 'Hunt' in the Southeast. Origin: Texas.

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Responses

  • vihtori
    Do green crabapples make pink jelly?
    8 years ago
  • jimmy
    What is a crab apple trees scientific name?
    8 years ago
  • gimja
    What nuts are good with crabapple jelly?
    7 years ago
  • Frederick
    Can you eat crab apple trees fall berrys?
    6 years ago

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