The Crab Apple is a small tree of general distribution in Britain. It closely resembles the cultivated Apple and it tends to be only the size of the fruit and the taste that is different. The Crab Apple or Wild Apple was the wild ancestor of all cultivated Apple trees. The Crab Apple rarely grows to its full height potential of 30 feet as it tends to be found in woods and copses and is normally cramped by other trees leading to a more bushy effect. It is regularly found in hedgerows and is often apple seeds from orchard apples that have reverted to its ancestral roots.
The branches become pendant, with long shoots which will bear the dark green glossy leaves and flowers which appear in small clusters during April and May. The buds are deeply tinged with pink on the outside and will expand to expose the flower. The fruit develops in Autumn and is smaller than commercial apples and although sour is often used in jams or in Ireland in cider.