My crab apple has become an apple....

My crab apple golden hornet has some apple branches.  I presume they are from the rootstock - does anyone know what tends to be used for crab apples? (Was planted by previous house owner so don't know any details.)

I don't mind whether the tree is an apple or crab apple, except that I want it to pollinate a recently purchased apple group (group 3).

What are people's thoughts on whether should let it do it's thing, or cut out the branches to keep it as a crab apple?

If I do remove the branches - which I'm tempted to in case the apples are another pollination group - I assume it's best to wait til spring?


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,066

    I'm a bit confused here. Are these branches coming from a rootstock below a graft or above a graft? And is the graft low or is there a trunk with a graft at the top? Just trying to get a picture, I'm not a grafted tree expert.

  • Will have a look when next get chance to in daylight. The tree is tall (c3m, maybe more) with several upright branches and one of them has apples, rather than the orange crab apples that are on the rest of them. I'll take a closer look at the weekend.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,066

    Sounds interesting.

  • personally I would keep it as a crab and make some lovely crab apple jelly and they are useful for the strong amount of pectin needed in other jams and jelly's.

  • Well, here's my tree:


     If you look closely at the branches you can see apples as well as crabapples:


     Looking at the base, there are several trunks, one of which is apple (think it's the big one in the middle with the thin branch "cross" in front of it and plant label just to its left.



  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,066

    That's a hard one. I think I'd be pruning for shape rather either of the apples.

  • Looks like someone has grafted the apple onto the crabapple which has a dwarf root to stop it from getting too big.
  • My friend has a tree that has two kinds of apples on it.A red one,and a green one.She said she bought it like that,a duo,she says.She lost the label,so does not know the varietys.
  • Weird thing is that the label that's still on it is for crab apple, rather than any sort of family tree.

    Yes, nutcutlet, my whole garden needs a lot of work image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,066

    Don't they always. I enjoy the winter prunings and shapings though. 

  • Great, when are you coming round? image

    When's the best time to prune? Given the height it's going to have to be done with my long handled secateurs so cuts won't be accurate or nicely angled, so I'd need to do it at the safest time for disease.

    Do you reckon it could have always been a duo then, rather than an unintended branch?
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