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 Fresh-eating Crabapples in Oregon/Washington 
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Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:53 pm
Posts: 3
Post Fresh-eating Crabapples in Oregon/Washington
I just had a Wickson crab for the first time the other day and I am hooked. I am now looking for a source for fresh-eating crabapples in the Oregon/Washington area.

After doing some research (here and elsewhere), I see that there are some other fresh-eating crabs out there (Young America, Centennial, Whitney, Martha, Maypole Spire, Chestnut, Hewe's Crab, Medaille D'or).

Does anyone know of any orchards selling any of these apples (providing they are still in season)?

Thank you,

Nate


Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:59 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1375
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Fresh-eating Crabapples in Oregon/Washington
Hi Nate,
I also love fresh eating crabapples. I think the best bet is to learn to graft if you don't know how. People rarely sell crabapples. They are great pollinators in general, and of the 76 apples listed with the highest brix, the first 75 were crabapples. In general, fruit with lots of surface area tend to be more nutritious. Smaller fruit are less interesting/attractive targets for pests. I also think they are a highly valuable part of an apple "portfolio". Even if some of your other apples don't do well, you will usually have several crabapples to munch on. They have a lot of flavor per size.

I have found some crabapples just by wandering through neighborhoods. If the scion is over the sidewalk or street, have at it. Most neighbors who I've talked to were happy to share a scion. Of course, most are strictly ornamental, and taste horrible, but not all.

Wickson is the variety of which I grow the most. I also grow Callaway, Dolgo, Whitney, Hewe's/Virginia, Martha, Russian, and a few varieties whose name I do not know. I don't know of anyone selling them commercially. Some can them. You might find some in your neighborhood or at a farmer's market. Most reliably, you can grow them.
John S
PDX OR


Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:04 pm
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 1:00 pm
Posts: 204
Location: SE Portland
Post Re: Fresh-eating Crabapples and other crabs
I tried for a Dolgo but the graft failed, and I substituted a Whitney. Whitney is a perfectly decent little eating apple, starts and finishes far earlier than any of the other cultivars I've got (although I see it listed as a late bloomer - not at all true in my yard).

Related, but different subject... What I mostly have on crabs is a question. At the AAFS, I was fascinated by a large, blood-red-fleshed apple whose label and one of the Seattle crew assured me was a crab. I can barely read my cell phone picture, but I believe it was a Niedzwetzkyana. I questioned her, since everything I've read says that the only difference between a crabapple and a "regular' apple is the size - same malus species. Oh no, she assured me, malus domestica is a different species than that of crabs, whose subspecies name I did not catch. Really? Since they all cross-breed freely, they appear to be the same species.

Help!

mh


Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:17 pm
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Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:53 pm
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Post Re: Fresh-eating Crabapples in Oregon/Washington
Marsha,

I recognized the crab you mentioned in an article. This forum won't let me post a link so I will pm you.


Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:19 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 6:49 am
Posts: 14
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Fresh-eating Crabapples in Oregon/Washington
I might also suggest the red fleshed crab which as John mentions is one that can be found already growing in this area.

John, where can I find this list of highest brix apples? I'm curious to know the limit in apples.

Galen


Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:40 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1375
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Fresh-eating Crabapples in Oregon/Washington
Marsha-
This is a question that botanists debate among themselves about. Many people try to find and argue about the original species. The idea of a species is that it is separate; the child of two different species is not supposed to make new fertile fruit.

It is not true that all crabs are one species and that apples are another species. You are correct on this one, Marsha. Some botanists argue for a species, Malus sieversii, which is different. Oregon Swamp crabapple, malus fusca, is a crabapple and a different species than regular apples. Most apples are of the same species.

Galen-The list was from a Pome News about 3 years ago. Ted Swensen may have it, although his computer was stolen, and he may no longer have it.
John S
PDX OR


Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:36 pm
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 1:00 pm
Posts: 204
Location: SE Portland
Post Re: Fresh-eating Crabapples in Oregon/Washington
Thank you. Hmph. The horses, donkeys and mules of malus, and we don't yet know if the offspring really are sterile mules? After all these years of fertilizing with tiny watercolor brushes? So malus fusca can serve as rootstock, but don't use it as a pollinizer if you're breeding apples?


Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:58 pm
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Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:53 pm
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Post Re: Fresh-eating Crabapples in Oregon/Washington
I would be interested in that list as well.


Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:57 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1375
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Fresh-eating Crabapples in Oregon/Washington
I don't know if malus fusca can pollenize regular apples. Someone, I think Lon, has grafted onto it successfully with Winter Banana. I have grafted onto it and it took, but it has not yet produced apples. I would think that it would be a great pollenizer, but I don't know.
John S
PDX OR


Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:49 am
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Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 8:14 pm
Posts: 197
Location: Aurora, Oregon
Post Re: Fresh-eating Crabapples in Oregon/Washington
I have some red flesh crabs if you want to graft some. One is a selection from the breeder Nels Hansen passed tome by the late Prof. Elwyn
Meader. I have photos.

Greenmantle Nursery in California has several high sugar apples.

I've found seedling apples that could have been natural crosses between domestic apples and M. fusca, but there wasn't a way to verify it for certain. The real M. fusca man was the late Pierre Rotschky in Yacolt, WA. He worked with it extensively.


Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:53 pm
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