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Crab Apple Jelly

I have an old crab apple tree which last year had no fruit and this year all the apples were diseased so have decided not to waste any more time on it.  Can anyone recommend a  crab apple tree for a small garden good for making jelly.



  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,259

    We have M. John Downie which produces a good crop. Or. M Profusion looks to be a good cropper too.

    Our Crab apples frequently are attacked by Apple scab (don't spray), but they still make a good jelly. All we do is remove the stalks, then boil up the fruit with a little water. Put the pulp through a cloth and use 1 pint of liquid to a pound of sugar. The scab makes no difference to the taste.

  • Thanks Berghill for the info, too late this year for crab apple jelly but will try it next year. Will leave the old tree untill the new tree bears fruit.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 60,501

    I agree - John Downie is the best crab apple for jelly image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,259

    We usually do  a  mixture of proper wild Crabs and John Downie and a very dark red unnamed Crab apple. This gives a lovely colour and acidity to the jelly.

  • my John Downie was a s prolific as usual, but really badly marked and scarred fruit.  I think it must just be a bad year - usually delightful to look at and super jelly but the tree looks very stressed just now.

  • Our two John Downie trees have been laden with fruit this year - the first year of fruiting.  M. 'Golden Hornet' is also a good cropper - also lovely blossom in the Spring. I have made jelly with both -  excellent golden colour.

  • It seems that John Downie is the Crab Apple to go for. Any suggestions as to where to order one from?

  • Thanks Buddyboy for directing me to two very informative websites. After looking at these sites I have decided against John Downie because it is susceptible to scab. Instead have decided on Jelly King unless anyone can persuade me diffidently. 

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 5,516

    Where in the country are you? A good tree nursery will give you lots of valuable advice and answer any questions you have. If you are anywhere near Suffolk I can strongly recommend Crown Nurseries near Woodbridge. They give out oodles of friendly & good information & recommendations & also run fruit tree pruning and grafting workshops. They might also be able to help over the phone.

    (No - I don't work there or have a vested interest. I was just very impressed when I visited them a few times last year! image)

     I have:  

    John Downie (beautiful fruit, good for jelly but very susceptible to scab. Fruit also drops / gets pinched by birds very early)

    Everest - prolific fruiter - very attractive smaller fruit - much less scab (but still some) - holds fruit till well into winter.

    Red Sentinel - lovely red fruit (like big cherries) - holds fruit well all winter - looks stunning against clear blue winter sky - but has very little fruit this year. I'm hoping that's down to my formative pruning last winter (very young tree).

    I'm afraid I don't know Jelly King so can't comment on that choice.


    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,259

    The Crab Apple Profusion in the walled garden at Sugnall in Staffs are smothered in good size fruit and they seem to last well into Autumn.

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