Sour Green Crabapples: What Tree Are They From

Q: Back in my younger days we picked golf-ball-size green crab apples that were incredibility sour but tasted so good. What kind of trees were they? 

A: A crabapple is defined as any apple whose mature fruit is less than two inches in diameter, which is about the size of the fruit on the tree you remember. But true crabapples almost never have green fruit. They are typically red, orange or yellow. There are a couple of green-fruited crabapples, but the fruit is the size of a cherry. My bet is the tree you remember so fondly was actually from an apple tree that had not been taken care of, or maybe one that sprouted randomly from an apple seed. Poor care leads to apple fruit that drop before they mature so you might never see red apples on such a tree. I think you’d be greatly tempted to eat the sour green apples that were hanging when you passed by.

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