Crab Apple

Malus sylvestris


Crab Apple is a small tree of woodland edges and hedgerows. Its pinky-white flowers appear in May and ripen to small, green apples in late summer. This fruit can be used for making jellies and wines or roasted with meat, and, as a result, this tree has been cultivated for thousands of years.

How to identify

Crab Apples can be easily mistaken for other varieties of apple that have been planted or have escaped. It can be distinguished by its small, finely toothed, oval leaves and small, yellow-green fruits. Orchard varieties tend to have larger fruits and pinker flowers.

Where to find it



When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Our native tree species, such as Crab Apple, provide important links in the food chain for many animals, as well as areas for shelter and nesting. The Wildlife Trusts recognise the importance of healthy habitats to support all kinds of species throughout the food chain, so look after many nature reserves for the benefit of wildlife. You can help too: volunteer for your local Wildlife Trust and you could be involved in everything from coppicing to craft-making, stockwatching to surveying.

Species information

Common name
Crab Apple
Latin name
Malus sylvestris
Trees and shrubs
Height: 7-9m
Conservation status