Malus fusca (Western
Often growing in thickets, this small tree grows moderately fast to reach 40.’
It is native to low elevations from coastal Alaska to northwestern California, USDA zones 6 – 9.
Its leaves resemble those of cultivated apple tree leaves, turning red or orange in autumn.
The branches are armed with distinctly sharp spur-shoots.
White, clustered flowers are smaller than those of cultivated apples but equally fragrant.
Fruits are but 1/2" and hang in clusters on long stems. These tart fruits can be picked when immature and stored until ripe – a wise idea as the birds may otherwise beat you to the tasty fruit! Crabapples make a flavorful juice (yielding as much as 2 cups of nutritious juice per lb. of fruit!) or jelly.
Crabapples like moist areas and sun or shade.
Photo of fruit, below left, by James Gaither