• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Malus sylvestris

crab apple

crab apple

© RHS

  • Other common names crab apple
    European apple

    wild crab

    see more
  • Family Rosaceae

  • Genus Malus are small to medium-sized deciduous trees with showy flowers in spring and ornamental or edible fruit in autumn; some have good autumn foliage colour

  • Details M. sylvestris is a small, rounded tree with ovate leaves and clusters of pink-tinged white flowers to 5cm across in late spring, followed by yellow-green, sometimes red-flushed fruits 2-3cm across

  • Plant range C Europe

Characteristics

  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Bushy

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)

    H6

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Sun

  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect South-facing or North-facing or West-facing or East-facing

  • Exposure Exposed or Sheltered

Soil

  • Chalk

    Chalk

  • Clay

    Clay

  • Sand

    Sand

  • Loam

    Loam

  • MoistureMoist but well-drained

  • SoilChalk, Clay, Sand, Loam

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral

Size

  • Ultimate height 8-12 metres

  • Ultimate spread 4-8 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 20-50 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in moderately fertile soil; will tolerate partial shade. Ideal specimen trees for small gardens

Propagation Propagate by seed sown in a seedbed in autumn or by chip budding in late summer. Grafting can be carried out in midwinter

Suggested planting locations and garden types Low Maintenance Wildflower meadow Wildlife Gardens

How to care

Pruning Pruning group 1

Pests Aphids, woolly aphid, fruit tree red spider mite and caterpillars may be a problem

Diseases Susceptible to apple scab, honey fungus, apple canker, fireblight, blossom wilt and powdery mildews

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