Its no secret that deer absolutely hammer apples and crabapples, and we’ll go as far to say there may not be a more effective “draw and hold” to deer than a big grove of them. However, a big orchard of fancy named varieties can be a rather expensive and time consuming chore for the weekend warrior or gamekeeper to undertake…meaning less time and money spent managing the rest of your property when you are busy spraying for bugs and diseases that high end apples often require. To those who can put forth the extra effort and expense to plant and manage the larger, grafted cultivars we applaud you. That being said, we have a solution we believe may be a better option for most wildlife oriented folks, and it’s available in our super stout, yet seedling-sized “wild” crabapple.
Our “wild” crabs are actually seedlings from our favorite crabapple selections and wild types such as: Dolgo, Transendent, Chestnut, Centennial, Whitney, and Prairie crab. Having a mixed bag of genetics and drop times from hardy, heavy bearing, disease tolerant favorites in an economical, and simple to establish and maintain rapid mast seedling should be a no-brainer to anyone wanting to spread some apple madness on their place.
With our “wild” crabs, combined with tree tubes and a little extra TLC for the first few years of growth, expect flowering and fruiting to occur on some trees in as little as three or four growing seasons, with the remainders putting on heavy crops no later than seven or eight years. So if you’re looking for heavy crops of highly preferred apples dropping from late summer and on into fall, but don’t want to put your county extension agent on payroll, try our “wild” crabs on for size.
Zone: 4 – 8
Soil pH: 5.0 – 7.5
Wildlife Value: Excellent.
Site Preference: Full sun.
Fruit Maturity Date: Late Summer, Early Fall
Fruit: Pale green blushed yellow