Lime Cross Orchard Update
The Lime Cross Apple trees are almost ready to be picked for the year – once collected they will be sent to a local press to be turned into our very own apple juice which will be for sale in the shop. Since 2005 we have grown three varieties of Apple trees in the orchard – Herefordshire Redstreak, Harry Masters Jersey and Dabinett cider all known for being excellent cider apples and all producing beautiful red apples. This year we have noticed trees have produced varying amounts of fruit – some trees dripping with apples and others looking rather sparse. One theory is that the Beast from the East prevented the earlier flowering trees from being pollinated resulting in fewer apples and that the later flowering trees were pollinated successfully, which might explain the extreme disparity. Fingers crossed all trees will be back to bearing lots of fruit this time next year!
Now that the Crab Apple fruits are out it’s a great time to choose and plant your Crab Apple tree and we currently have more than 20 types for sale at Lime Cross. Crab Apples are one of the most popular ornamental trees for gardens in the UK and with blossom in the spring and copious fruits in the autumn it’s easy to see why. Fruits and flowers range in size and colour depending on the variety so you can find one that’s best for you and your garden. We picked out a few of our favourites below:
Malus ‘Sun Rival’ is a small weeping crab apple tree with pretty white flowers emerging from pink buds in spring and in autumn will produce collections of bright red fruits.
Malus ‘Harry Baker’ is perfect for Crab Apple Jelly with larger ruby red fruits around 4cm wide, with deep pink flowers in spring.
Malus ‘John Downie’ produces lovely apricot coloured fruits which are also very popular with Crab Apple Jelly makers and has lovely white flowers in Spring.
Malus ‘Indian Magic’ is another lovely variety we have in stock with very small deep red fruits and pink flowers in spring.
Malus ‘Scarlett’ is a new variety from Denmark with dark purple leaves and pink/red flowers which will create a wonderful spring display.
So what’s the difference between a Crab Apple and an apple? Nothing but the size of fruit, they all exist under the same genus (Malus) however any apples smaller than two inches is a crab. Edible Crab apples often contain as much as 4 times the amount of antioxidants as other apples and contain high levels of vitamin C – however compared to regular apples they are much more bitter. Making your own Crab Apple Jelly is the perfect way to get around this!
Why not try this Lime Cross approved recipe:
Ingredients: Fruit, sugar & water.