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Crab Apple Hedging Plants – Malus sylvesteris


Crab Apple Hedge Plants

Flowering and fruiting hedging plant ideal for mixing into native hedgerows.

Plants are 2-3ft tall.

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Properties of Crab Apple Plants – Malus sylvesteris

  • Crab Apple Hedging Plants are very popular fruiting hedging plant included in native hedgerows in Ireland.
  • They are planted in native hedges, usually mixed with Whitethorn HedgingHazelHolly and Guelder Rose.
  • They are a slow growing small tree with Leaves that are oval shaped structure and fade to yellow in Autumn before dropping off. Flowers are often white-pinkish and appear in May. Fruits appear in early Autumn and the apples are mostly green yellow with a reddish glow.,
  • Fruits are rich in Vitamin C but sour to the taste and are more often used in jams,
  • The flowers are a great source of nectar for pollinating bees and the fallen apples a food source for ground mammals.
  • They are hardy in cold weather and require very little pruning.
  • However, if a late frost comes and damages the flowers, it might mean there will be no fruits present later in the year.

Benefits of Crab Apple plants to Biodiversity & Ecosystems

Planting Crab Apples, be it as trees or mixed through native hedging, is a fantastic way of helping the environment and encouraging biodiversity in your garden. It can provide food and shelter for so many life forms, from birds and mammals, through to lots of different species of insects throughout the entire year. The greenish white flowers of Summer are a vital food source for pollinators, and the resulting apples, a valuable food source for birds and mammals. When planted mixed into a native hedge they make an attractive aesthetic in the rural surroundings all year round. They are on the list of approved species for the REAP Scheme, a Government funded pilot programme to encourage planting for biodiversity.

How & When to Plant your Crab Apple Plants – Malus sylvesteris

  • When planting a native mixed hedge, plants can be planted 3 or 4 plants per metre in a single row or at a frequency of 5 plants per metre in a staggered double row. Crab apple plants can be planted at pre=determined intervals as per your needs or requirements.
  • Pants are usually 2-3ft in height. Once the crab apple plants have been planted, and if the area will be maintained clean and free from weeds, the plants can be pruned down to 12 inches in height. This will encourage bushiness in the plants. The area must be kept clean and free from weeds though, as weeds will be competition for the nutrients in the ground. Once growth in the Spring comes, the plant will begin growing and produce a thick, bushy hedge.
  • When planting bare root crab apple plants, it is best to break up the soil really well and loose.
  • Dig the hole and place the tree with the roots exposed in the hole.
  • Be careful not to damage the Roots.
  • Place the plant in the hole up to the collar of the tree.
  • Shovel back in the loosed soil and firm the plant in place by walking in the plant.
  • A good guide to follow is to have the soil loose enough for the water to get in, but not loose enough for the air to get in.
  • To view a video of how to plant a bare root plant, Click here

After care for your Crab Apple Hedging Plants.

If crab apple plants are mixed into a native hedge along with Whitethorn, Guelder Rose, Hazel and even Spindle, the area around the plants should be kept clean and free from weeds until the hedge establishes.

Type: Fast Growing
Soil: Preferably lime, tolerates damp.
Status: Hardy in cold weather.
Position: Sun or light shade
Flowering: Pink fruits in Autumn.

Additional information

Tree Sizes

5-6ft, 7-8ft, 2-3ft Whips

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