There are so many fruits on our ‘Donald Wyman’ Crabapple that the branches are bending under the weight.
Some crabapple varieties bear only in alternate years. That is not so of ‘Donald Wyman’, but this variety definitely does seem to have alternating years of heavy and relatively light flowering, followed by corresponding degrees of fruitfulness.
This spring the crabapple flowers were very profuse, and so the heavy crop is not a surprise. The crabapples are edible, but not especially tasty. My parents had a crabapple in their garden, and some years my mother would make crabapple jelly. I remember the jelly as fairly bland.
My fruit from my parents’ tree was probably bigger than ‘Donald Wyman’s’, which is about a half inch in diameter. Unlike the Currants, Viburnum, Elderberry, and Dogwood fruit in the Back Garden, these crabapples hang on until late in winter. Eventually they are eaten, I suspect mostly by Starlings and Squirrels. I think most songbirds prefer slightly smaller fruits.
The fruit is certainly ornamental, especially when it hangs in such profusion. It’s an odd thing because the ‘Golden Raindrops’ crabapple in the Back Garden had no flowers or fruit at all this year, which was a disappointment.
No matter who eats the fruit, Crabapples are excellent trees for wildlife. The flowers are highly attractive to pollinators, and many songbirds eat the buds and blooms, as well as the insects buzzing around them.
How are the crabapples looking in your neck of the woods?