Crabapple question

Asked September 16, 2019, 7:22 PM EDT

I have a flowering Crabapple tree. It's been producing cherry-sized Crabapples for ten years.
Suddenly this year, it started producing full-sized apples the size, shape and look of a Macintosh apple.
One has finally ripened and it tried eating it. It tastes a lot like a mac too. It's just a little more sour and has a slightly bitter aftertaste you wouldn't get with a Macintosh.
It's still producing the smaller cherry-sized crabapples as well, but never on the same branch as the big apples.
Have you ever heard of this before?

Erie County Pennsylvania

1 Response

Hello, and thanks for using the Ask an Expert System,

I can only guess that your crabapple tree is growing on apple rootstock and that a rootstock bud has grown up to produce apples. Crabapples are often grafted to dwarf apple rootstock, so that the crabapple tree will be dwarfed. If a tree is well maintained, with annual attention to pruning and removal of the suckers (the shoots that spring up from near the ground) the grafting process works nicely.

You can get additional help with your questions through your local Penn State Extension Office and its Master Gardener Hotline.

Erie County Penn State Extension Office