A crab apple tree can grow up to 10m tall, and live for 100 years. They are the predecessor of cultivated apples.
Crab apples have sweetly scented blossom in April and May, which is pollinated by bees and other insects. Later, small, apple-like fruits develop which can be yellow or green or flushed red. These are eaten by birds and mammals which disperse the seeds.
The caterpillars of many moths live on crab-apple leaves. The flowers provide a good source of early pol len for bees and other insects. Many birds and mammals eat crab apple fruit.Crab apples are traditionally associated with love and marriage, and also in ancient healing ceremonies.
The crab apple fruit is a source of pectin, which helps jam to set. The wood of the crab apple tree is good for carving.