Some crabapple fruit are red when ripe while others are yellowish-orange. The easiest way to tell if fruit are ripe is to cut them in half to see if the seeds are brown, which means they are ready to be picked.
Crab apple trees are tall deciduous trees that bloom prolifically during spring, have decorative edible fruit and often have attractive autumn foliage. The trees are often grown as cross-pollinators in commercial orchards. Crabapples make good ornamental trees because of their decorative fruit, pretty flowers and occasional autumn colour.
Crabapples suffer from aphids, apple canker, apple scab, blossom wilt, caterpillars, fireblight, powdery mildews, spider mite, honey fungus, and woolly aphid. Also look out for snout beetles, codling moth, fruit fly and fusi.
Cuttings for grafting should be done in midwinter when trees are in rest or bud in early autumn to allow to grow into the rootstock over winter.
Sow seed in a seedbed 1-2 cm deep in autumn, 3-6 cm apart or keep seeds in fridge for 3 months for stratification and plant in Spring. Graft or bud desired cultivar on seedling.
The trees often have attractive autumn leaves
The fruits are edible raw and can be made into jelly, preserves, and cider.