Can You Eat Crabapples? Get Your Answer Here! 

 May 9, 2022

By  admin

Dried, canned, frozen and fresh crabapples are all classified as fruits. Crabapples can be eaten raw but should not be used for cooking or juicing purposes because they have a very low sugar content.

The “can you eat harvest gold crabapple” is a fruit that has been around for centuries. The fruit can be eaten raw, or cooked in the oven.

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Flowering crabapples may be found in practically every terrain in the United States. These beautiful flowering trees are loved. Their fruits, however, the crabapples, are not well-known. 

Crabapples are regarded to be harmful for a variety of reasons, including local mistrust and the tree’s decorative position. In truth, the fruit is sour, but can crabapples be eaten safely?

This article will go through crabapples in depth and determine if they are edible.

Continue reading to learn more!

Crabapples: What Are They?   

Crabapples are fruits that naturally grow smaller than 2 inches in diameter and are botanically classed as Malus species. Crabapples vary in appearance according on the type, but they normally mature to an orange, red, or yellow color.

The flowers, foliage, and other features vary with variety. To put it another way, the moniker “crabapples” refers to their size more than anything else. Crabapples, in contrast to ordinary apples, are smaller and sourer. Miniature apples are another name for them.

Do you know what espaliered plants are? This comprehensive guide to espalier fruit trees may be found here.

Crabapple varieties

There are many crabapple species found in nature. These vary depending on tree height, flower kind, fruit, and other factors. Crabapple trees come in eight varieties:

One of the most beautiful crabapple kinds is the Brandywine. It has a lovely aroma and is full of beautiful pink blossoms throughout the flowering season. The huge, yellow-green fruits are ideal for producing jelly.

It may reach a height of 20 feet and thrives in chilly climates. Zones 4 through 9 are particularly suitable for this kind.

The Dolgo crabapple variety is notable for its brilliant red fruit and white blossoms, producing 1-inch tart crabapples. This is a small tree that only grows to around 11 feet tall. This kind not only produces great fruit, but it also aids pollination.

Sauces, sorbets, chutneys, and even condiments are finest made with Dolgo crabapples. 

Purple Prince is a tiny, rounded tree with bright spring blossoms. The fruits are rosy crimson and the foliage is purple bronze. Furthermore, the tree is fast-growing, disease-resistant, and requires little upkeep.

It grows to a height of roughly 20 feet and is best suited to planting zone 4.

This one has consistently high reviews and produces exceptional fruit in terms of both quality and quantity. The tree’s crimson buds burst into white blooms throughout the spring flowering season. The fruits may vary in hue from orange to crimson.

The Adirondack variety thrives in sunny weather and sandy or clayey soils. 

The prairiefire variety flowers all year, providing a stunning aesthetic show as well as fruit. Dark purplish-red berries, rich pink blooms, and purple foliage with a dark green overcast characterize this tree.

It also has a high level of disease resistance and drought tolerance. These are easiest to grow in well-drained soils, although they may also thrive in clay. 

Another upright and broad-rounded deciduous tree is the snowdrift. Its crimson buds open to beautiful white blooms in late April. In the autumn, the leaves turn yellow, and the tree bears fruit in the late winter.

This one is ideal for practically any landscape because to its small size.

The weeping Louisa cultivar is notable for its red buds that explode into pink blooms. A mature tree may grow to be between 12 and 15 feet tall and broad.

Full sun, well-drained, acidic loamy soils, and moderate precipitation are all beneficial.

This species, also known as the Malus coronaria and garland crab, is thought to be a hybrid. They are often dwarf trees with short trunks and thick branches. 

The leaves feature a distinct shade pattern, with a yellow-green top and a lighter bottom. The blooms are generally pink or white, and the fruits are seeded.

Are Crabapples Safe to Eat?

Now onto the main question, is it safe and Are Crabapples Safe to Eat? The answer is yes. Regardless of the variety, crabapples are safe for human consumption. 

Humans are not poisoned by the fruit or its meat. However, just like ordinary apples, you should avoid chewing the seeds. The seeds contain a chemical that, when broken down, creates cyanide as a by-product. 

When excessive levels of cyanide are present, it is fatal. 

The tree’s stems and leaves contain the same chemical. As a result, they should also be avoided. 

In short, eat the tree’s fruits but not the seeds, stems, or leaves, and you’ll be OK.

How do crabapples get their name? 

Crabapples are quite simple to grow and maintain. All you have to do is make sure they have adequate sunlight, water, and fertilizer. Their needs, however, differ depending on the species. 

Crabapple Propagation 

Crabapples are often cultivated from seedlings purchased from a local nursery or online. However, there are a few options for propagating crabapples. 

Seeds, grafting, suckers, stem cuttings, tissue culture, and budding are all examples. The approach utilized should be determined by the tree variety.

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The following are some general growth conditions for crabapples:

Crabapples may be grown without difficulty in hardiness zones 4 to 8. Any abrupt climatic changes, such as early or late frosts, heat waves, or severe rains, may be harmful to the tree’s health.

Early April is the best time for crabapple planting. This is the time of year when the ground is least likely to be frozen. The tree requires time to acclimate in the early days, so temperatures should be well above freezing.

Crabapples do not like a specific kind of soil, although they perform best in rich, well-drained soils. The soil pH should range between 6 and 7. In any case, organic soil additives are recommended to promote root growth.

Before planting, always test the soil. This is due to the possibility of hazardous metals or industrial pollutants getting into the fruit.

These trees need a lot of light. For optimal flowering and fruiting, the tree should get at least 6 hours of direct sunshine. If additional trees will be planted nearby, provide ample space between them. 

To some degree, crabapple trees are prone to root rot. If there is a lot of rain, they should be covered with a tarp or other suitable barriers.

These trees seldom need additional irrigation. Give the trees a thorough soaking at the base once a week if there are severe drought-like conditions. 

Crabapples are excellent partners for orchard apples and help with pollination.

How to Care for Crabapples

All that remains is to fertilize and prune the trees after they have been planted. 


Crabapples (or apples in general) don’t usually need a lot of fertilizer. An organic fertilizer may be used to replenish the soil’s lost nutrients. 

When put in the spring and autumn, homemade compost or farmyard manure will also help. Natural mulch will also help with weed control and nutrient retention.

Landscape textiles are another easy yet efficient technique to reduce weeds. The following are the top 7 landscape fabric reviews!


Moderate tree trimming will really benefit the trees. This will encourage development while also allowing for air movement. 

It’s preferable to wait until after the flowering season to clip new growth or sprouts. Similarly, heavier branches should be cut using a pruning saw in late fall.

Crabapples: How Do You Eat Them?  

You may wish to harvest and eat the fruit right off the tree when your crabapple tree eventually bears fruit. Even though most of the types will produce fruits that you can eat right away, we recommend that you check it out first. It’s because there’s a good probability the fruit is overly sour or acidic to begin with.

Are you wondering what else you might do with these fruits? Don’t worry, there are other options available:

  • Crabapple Juice: Extracting the juice from crabapples is one of the greatest methods to make use of its acidic flavor. This may be frozen and kept indefinitely.
  • Crabapple Jam: Crabapple jam is a welcome addition for those who can’t live without a good English breakfast. It will be a healthier option since it has fewer sugar and calories.
  • Crabapple Puree: Making puree or sauce from crabapples is an excellent alternative to extracting juice. Any handmade food will benefit from this addition.
  • If you live in a home with children, you may wish to create some crabapple jelly for them. It would not only put those crabapples to good use, but it would also be a nutritious treat for your children.
  • Crabapple Pickles: What better method to make use of the fruit’s extra malic acid than to pickle it? A crabapple pickle will be an interesting and delightful treat. 
  • Crabapple Butter: Add a couple teaspoons of crabapple essence to your regular apple butter recipe. This will give it a tart flavor and a slight pink colour. 


Crabapples are safe to consume, as previously stated. Even though the fruit and its meat are both edible, the seeds of the fruit might be problematic. 

This is due to the presence of chemicals known as cyanogenic glycosides in the seeds. Amygdalin is the most frequent component, which when broken down forms a very dangerous cyanide product. When large concentrations of cyanide are present, it may cause death.

This situation, however, is very unlikely to occur. To begin, the amygdalin can only be released if the seeds are completely chewed. As a result, if you ingest a seed by mistake, it will not harm you.

Second, in order for this cyanide to be poisonous, it must be present in large quantities. This indicates that ingesting more than 150 crabapple seeds will result in serious consequences.

The stems and leaves, too, should not be ingested since they contain cyanide-producing chemicals.

Crabapple Storage 

Crabapples cannot be kept in the open for lengthy periods of time due to enzymatic processes that produce browning. Crabapples, as well as their cooked products such as jam, puree, and liquids, may be frozen and kept for a long time. They will be nicely kept in this manner.

It’s vital to keep in mind that these fruits may readily acquire off-flavors while in storage. Refrigerator scents may also have an effect on them. As a result, it’s best to keep them in cookie sheets, plastic bags, or frozen ziplock bags. Airtight containers should be used to keep the purée and fluids.

If you want to freeze the fruits completely, be sure to clean them well and remove the stems and blossom ends first.

Uses & Health Benefits of Crabapples

Crabapples offer a wide range of health advantages and applications. Here are a few examples:  

  • They are high in vitamin C, which supports the body’s immunological system.
  • These fruits are also abundant in vitamin D, which helps to prevent high blood pressure, diabetes, and some forms of cancer.
  • Crabapples are high in digestive enzymes and are thus used to treat digestive problems.
  • Ripe crabapples have been shown to help with piles and diarrhea.
  • Astringency and laxative qualities are also present in the fruit. Furthermore, the fruit pulp aids in the reduction of inflammation and the quicker healing of wounds. 
  • The crabapple tree’s leaves are dried and powdered into a powder. People suffering from infertility might benefit from using this powder.
  • The fruit is also high in iron, which helps athletes and pregnant women maintain good health.
  • Scurvy, heart disease, bone disease, Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), and accelerated aging are all helped by crabapples.
  • Crabapples may also be used in the kitchen. Crabapple jellies, fruit leather, juices, fruit butter, candies, and other confections may be made with them.
  • The crabapple tree’s bark is used to make a dye that ranges in color from red to yellow.

Questions Frequently Asked

What’s the difference between apples and crabapples?

The size difference between apples and crabapples is the most significant distinction. Crabapples have a diameter of 2 inches or less, while apples have a diameter of more than 2 inches.

Crabapples may be eaten uncooked.

Yes. Crabapples can certainly be consumed uncooked. They’re also good in salads and smoothies. They might be too acidic or sour to consume raw at times. As a result, cooking them before eating is recommended.

When is the best time to harvest crabapples?

Crab apple trees bear fruit from October until early November. This is also when the fruits naturally ripen. As a result, harvest the crabapples as soon as they become fully mature. 

Do dogs get sick from eating crabapples?

Yes. If dogs eat crabapples or the plant’s leaves, stems, or blooms, they may have severe nausea, diarrhea, and lack of appetite. The severity of the illness is determined on the size of your dog, as well as the kind and season of the crabapples.

Can crabapples be used to produce cider vinegar?

Crabapples, in their natural state, are incapable of producing decent cider. However, you may add their extract to a blend of other apples to add more tannin.

Are Crabapples Safe to Eat?: The Verdict

Finally, crabapples have a long history of being considered decorative fruits. The tree’s incredibly stunning spring flowers have made it immensely popular. As a result, the fruit and its advantages are often missed.

Certain myths surrounding the fruit also discourage people from relishing it. So Are Crabapples Safe to Eat? Yes! Crabapples are indeed edible. However, it is still advisable to abstain from consuming its stem, leaves, or seeds. 

We hope that this article has given you vital information on crabapples and that you may now eat them without fear of negative consequences.

Bonus: The 14 Best Rhubarb Varieties 

Crabapples are a fruit that is eaten by humans and animals. The question “what eats crabapples?” can be answered with the following:

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Emil Schoene

Born and raised in Austin, TX I come from a background of home renovation. By helping my family in my younger years with their construction business, I learned the ropes quickly and as I grew it became my passion that I still do today. Looking to share my knowledge with others. I invite you to leave comments on any post as I know you will have questions that you are not finding anywhere else.

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