Crab apples

Although the festival has ended, the cherry trees are carrying on with their beauty – still some Ukon, Avium Plena and Shogetsu, pink Kanzan snow all over the streets, and Shirofugen carrying the torch on into June.

At this time of year, crab apples are everywhere in Vancouver and people are confusing them with cherries.


Crab apples. The bark does not have the distinctive horizontal stripes (lenticels) that you will find on cherry trees.



The crab apples are mostly small, round-shaped densely branched trees with green leaves fully out about a month before the buds are clearly visible.



The dense clusters of bright red buds that stand out against the green leaves make the tree look like some sort of Christmas ornament.
Crab apples have round red buds. The sepals don’t curl back and there are five round holes in the centre of the blossom where the petals narrow to a claw.



Crab apples.



On some varieties of crab apples, the smallish single white blossoms are an anti-climax, though the trees still look interesting with both buds and open blossoms.



Crab apples are very beautiful, but they are not cherry blossoms.


You can learn more about crab apples on the UBC Forum:
Crab Apples – red buds, white blossoms, green leaves, late cherry season

PS Soon the hawthorns will be out too. They have deeply lobed leaves in a kind of triangle shape, and some thorns.

(Source: information provided by Wendy Cutler)


One thought on “Crab apples

  1. One of the cherry scouts was miffed that I left off Birch Bark Cherry from my list of what cherries are in bloom now. They’re really ornamental because of their bark, so can look interesting at any time of year, but right now in cooler locations, they still have their dear small single dangling white blossoms with lots of stamens that are longer than the petals. I left off my favourite ‘Ichiyo’ too. They’ve faded to almost white now.

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