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Are there non-fruiting crab apple trees?

Hi Everyone,
Does anyone know if there are any non-fruiting crab apple trees available in the UK? There seem to be two (spring snow and prairie rose) in the US, but I can't seem to find any information about them on UK sites. If not, can anyone recommend a crab apple variety whose fruit is persistent, and eaten by birds before it falls to the ground? I've had an apple tree in the past and there was just too much fruit for me to use or give away, and I want to avoid rotting fruit and wasps!
I've looked at other blossoming trees, but I really like the classic spreading shape of the crab apple...
Thanks for any help!


  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 5,460
    You should consider Malus floribunda... the fruits it produces are so small and inconspicuous, as to be absolutely useless for any purpose, and you wouldn't even notice them most of the time... and what there are just wither away, I never noticed any littering on the ground..
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 18,664
    How about growing an edible cherry? Spreading habit, beautiful blossom and I guarantee the birds will pinch every last fruit before the wasps (or you) get a look in. 😁
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Thanks so much for the suggestions. The Malus Floribunda is so beautiful, I think it would be worth it even if the fruit did attract wasps! I think I'll go for that as the main tree, but a very small cherry would be nice as well - particularly if I can find one that flowers at a different time from the crab apple... Thanks again!
  • If you want a very small cherry, you could try Prunus incisa Kojo-no-mai. Mine grows happily in a pot!
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 3,141
    I'm somewhat surprised at the terms of your question. Crab apple trees are quite different from "regular" apple-trees in that their fruits are usually tiny: you don't use them or give them away, they disappear almost by themselves over the winter. And their fruit add a lot of interest to their (too) short flowering season. Perhaps you should re-consider your query for a non-fruiting species and go for a normal crab apple tree instead.
    My experience of such trees is limited to one species only, Malus Perpetu ‘Evereste’, which I've had in my garden for 4 years now and can thoroughly recommend. More info and pics on my garden site at
    It is visited by many bees when in flower, by many birds when it's in fruit but I've never seen any wasps in it.
    Malus 'Evereste' in April 2018

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 5,460
    A very pretty tree, but over here we have at least 2 very popular crab apple trees whose fruits are quite a good size and used for culinary purposes... Malus 'John Downie' and Malus 'Golden Hornet'...  if not picked they will carpet the ground with their spent apples, which could cause a right old mess in some circumstances... which the member is trying to avoid..

    @lauramgow ..  it's a beautiful small tree, I used to have one and everybody admired it when in full bloom..
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 3,141
    Point taken, @Marlorena. As I said, I can only speak for the one species I've got in my garden.
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 5,460
    edited November 2018
    ...that's ok.. no problem... Malus 'Evereste' I think is very popular here too, I'm not sure..
    I should add that you have some wonderful plants in your garden, which seems to be expertly maintained..

    For Laura, you mentioned a small flowering cherry, one highlighted recently is Prunus serrula 'Branklyn'... about 12 foot after 10 years..  see what you think of that one...
  • All lovely trees! Thanks so much for the suggestions - it's been really helpful.
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