Crabapple Surprise

I’ve been disgruntled lately about the garden’s lack of fall ornamental fruits. This year in particular has been almost entirely fruitless. Then suddenly our ‘Golden Raindrops’ Crabapple dropped its bright yellow leaves, and – boom! Clusters of bright yellow fruits emerged, no longer camouflaged by the foliage.DSC_0727

I’ll be curious to see how long these golden fruits last before the birds get at them. Birds are supposed to prefer the smaller Crabapples. The fruit of ‘Golden Raindrops’ is about 1/4 inch in diameter. Even so, a mass of these fruits is conspicuous from a distance.

We have another Crabapple, ‘Donald Wyman’, with larger red fruits. Most years the fruits of ‘Donald Wyman’ are left uneaten, eventually just falling to the ground. This year, strangely, all were eaten by the end of October.

That’s the neighbors’ house across the alley.

Now my only complaint is that only part of ‘Golden Raindrops’ is covered in fruits. It’s a young tree, though, so perhaps as it matures that problem will take care of itself. This tree if completely covered with golden fruits would be a truly stunning sight. I can’t wait!


42 Comments on “Crabapple Surprise

  1. Have you ever made crab apple jelly? delicious with meat, maybe you should pick some fruit before the birds eat them all!

  2. Love the crabs when the leaves drop and the berries stand out in the starkness of late fall and sometimes, if not eaten, into winter. Our crabs are looking lovely right now, adorned in berries and available to the birds who may feast on them.

  3. A striking color in winter’s dull times. While at the park yesterday we saw a mockingbird protecting a crabapple tree from all the Robins that were there. That crabapple had orange fruit. It was very pretty in this setting.

  4. This was not a great garden year for me. Everything struggled. Then when the weather cooled, I actually had a daylily send up flowers. And a rose that struggled all summer had beautiful foliage and roses until abut a week ago. Wonder what next year holds.

    • The weather was not perfect for us – it never is – but we fared better than you, apparently. No point in worrying about the weather, but I find it impossible not to.

  5. It’s a pretty sight now but will be a showstopper when fully covered in fruit!

  6. Very decorative. Do give us an update as to how long it takes for the birds to fond them. I had a Great Aunt who always made crab apple jelly, but you need a lot of crab apples for a few jars so it was considered precious!

  7. This was a bit of a revelation to me. When I think of crabapples, I think of the ones that showed up at our holiday tables as a spiced fruit, or in my grandmother’s jelly. They were much larger than this: usually about the size of a ping-pong ball, as I recall. Clearly, there are crabapples I know nothing about — time for exploration!

    • Crabapples are a wonderful tree, great for birds and wildlife, so beautiful in spring and fall. My mother also made crabapple jelly in her day, though ours were not so large as yours.

    • That’s interesting, though not what I’ve been told. This year the fruit on ‘Donald Wyman’ was definitely all eaten, though I wonder if it might have been squirrels. I’ll watch what happens with ‘Golden Raindrops’.

  8. Nice surprise! I noticed that more of our fruits are eaten already this year, too–crabapples, chokecherries, and viburnums. I wonder why? That’s a beautiful tree.

  9. Crab apple trees are always very pretty in autumn, Jason, in any place and it does not depend on whether there are many apples or no. I’d love to have such tree in my garden as well.

  10. Is growing flowering crabapples for their colorful a new trend? I remember the fruit as being merely a nuisance from trees that were grown only for their spring bloom, but then, flowering crabapples are uncommon here. (Mine was planted from someone who moved here from Michigan.) ‘Prairie Fire’ makes nice dark burgundy fruit. There are fruiting crabapples in the orchard that make nice fat crabapples for canning or for pectin extract. I am told that the fruit from flowering crabapples makes excellent jelly, but have not tried it. It is too pretty to pick before the birds get it, especially when there are plenty of other crabapples out there.

    • My mother used to make crabapple jelly. It’s nice, nothing to get too excited about. I don’t know if growing crabs for the ornamental fruit is a trend, I thought that was always part of the appeal.

  11. What nice little fruits! I hope your tree really takes off now and the show keeps getting better and better.
    Strange but your post has just made me realize I have no fall fruiting plants in the garden. There are wild sumacs, but nothing else and I might have to correct that!

  12. I have never seen golden crabapples! Gorgeous! Can humans eat them? When I was a child we had a red crabapple tree, and I loved to eat them.

  13. I just love crabapples! They bloom so beautifully in the spring, and then there’s the winter interest. Crabapples around here still have their fruits, but I’ve never seen the yellow kind either! What color are the flowers in spring?

  14. Hello Jason, Rowan trees have lovely autumn berries in colours from red through orange to white. They’re very common in Scotland and I’m wondering whether they would do well in your area. The only autumn berry tree we have at the moment is Amelanchier but the birds strip all the berries just as they’ve turned red.

    • Yes, we refer to Rowans as Mountain Ash. My parents had them in their garden in New York. I don’t think they are hardy here. Your Amelanchier fruit ripens in August? That’s interesting, here they ripen in June.

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