Southern Crabapple, Malus angustifolia, is a native flowering shrub or small tree that is found in pine woodlands and mixed woods in the wild, and is considered to be threatened or “of concern” due to losses of habitat, in many states within which it occurs.. Branches grow into an outward, rounded open crown, often reaching up to 20 to 30 feet in height. This shrub thrives in full sun or part shade, and such settings will encourage more blooms and fruiting. It also prefers well-drained, moist and slightly acidic soils. It works well near the borders of woodlands, as a backdrop to a fence, or in “wild” or native areas. If space is available, a grove of Crabapples provide a myriad of benefits to a range of wildlife, including birds and pollinators, as well as small mammals and deer. Most individuals will begin producing crops within 3 to 4 years and reach an abundance by 6 or 7 years. Many people prefer the showy blooms and will also use the small apples to make jellies and jams.
Photo: Jonathan Billinger, North Carolina Plant Toolbox