Just been posting about Crabapples so thought I'd make it a separate topic in the hope that you'd share your photos and experience too. image

Red Lantern



Wonderfully scented flowers and golfball sized fruit, almost good enough to eat fresh. Flowers for a long period, longer than a domestic apple but not quite as long as some other crabs. Flowers are white.  A vigorous  tree.

John Downie



A nice Crab, doesn't hang, very nice colour and looks great from the house, but I wouldn't choose it if I could only have one. The crabs don't stay fresh either, by the time I was picking them, they'd started to rot. Nothing different about the typical apple blossom, no scent that I noticed. Like by the birds.



Jelly King:



 Similar to John Downie though later and still hanging on the tree as of 20/11/13. As you can guess from its name it's a good apple for jelly.




 A very nice Crab, beautiful colour, starts off as it turns red a very strawberry red, quite unreal, then deepens as it goes. It's an early crab same as Red Lantern and John Downie and doesn't hang on the tree but the birds were eager to get it. 

Neville Copeman


Neville Copeman is a very nice large sized crab. The crabs start off almost purple before fading to the colour you can see above. The leaves of the tree are purple for most of their time with very lovely red blossom. No scent that I noticed. The crabs hang longer than John Downie but the birds got them before they had a chance to fall.  Red Sentinel

I think this is one of my favourites, because it hangs so well. I cut them off last year as they started to dry on the tree, but they were a fantastic show right the way in January. They're a moderate sized crab, about the size of  a ten p piece and they're late which is possibly why they hang well. 


I've neglected documenting the others so I'll post now to let you comment and share yours and hopefully I'll get more photos when it's light. If not then I'll post the pictures I downloaded. 


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,244

    I like the ones the birds like. I don't like to see them on the tree untouched at the end of winter. There's a couple I've seen like that. One is yellow, the other smaller and red.

  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 751

    Hi Nut. I got them initially for the birds then got sucked in making jelly since my mum got rid of her tree and I missed the jelly. I was like a kid in a sweet shop then and wanted them all, only going for the bigger fruit varieties and no double flowers. I'm a confident grafter now so my plan is to see which ones do best and graft over or get rid of the others. 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,692

    Nut, I think you may have seen Yellow Hornet - I used to have one in a previous garden and it seems to retain it's fruit for ever.  OH actively dislikes the more ornamental crabs for that very reason.

    If I had room for one I think it'd be John Downie as it is good for jelly (makes a lovely coloured jelly) and if not picked the fruit falls to the ground for the birds.

    I suppose it's horses for courses. 

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • i have made jelly from different crabtrees and love the differant colours and varities.image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,244

    John Downie is lovely. I haven't got any at all. 

    I think you're right about Golden Hornet Dove. The  owner is really pleased that the birds don't steal the fruit

    Crab apple jelly Jimimage I haven't had that for years

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,245

    I saw a crab apple "Harry Baker'  recently. big deep red fruit, almost big enough to be an eater. beautiful tree.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • love crab apple jelly. I used to "scrump" fruit from trees in an office park where I used to work. Think they must have been John Downie.. .pink fruit, but oblong shaped? Yum. Years ago, when I grew up in Suffolk, we gathered them from wild trees. Wonder what variety they were? My Dad used to make fab jelly, using a touch of elderberry to make the jelly go pink.

  • image

    Red Sentinel is a stunner. In a mild year the fruit may hang around until the next blossom and you have to pull them off, and they are still almost ascherry red as in the autumn, and on long stems too. In a cold year the "thrushes" hopefully move in and you will get a wildlife spectacular. It took a flock of 30 or so 4 days to strip mine in January 2010, Gorgeous is supposed to be similar but mine is too young at present.

  • Should have said the photo was through a double glazed window, so not as sharp as it could be. I have some videos too but at a minute or so plus they may be too long for this forum, and don't know how to remove the background noise from indoors.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,692
    Ginglygangly wrote (see)

    ..... Years ago, when I grew up in Suffolk, we gathered them from wild trees. Wonder what variety they were? ....

    Whereabouts in Suffolk Ginglygangly?   I grew up and spent most of my life in Suffolk too image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
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