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Roberts Crab apple trees

(Robert's Crab, Robert's Red)
Malus domestica
Roberts Crab is listed in the RHS Plants for Pollinators

Roberts Crab is an unusual crab-apple, grown both for its attractive ornamental qualities, and for culinary uses.

The abundant spring blossom is dark pink, and the leaves have a bronze tint.

Ripening in late summer, the crab-apples have an unusual dark purple colour. They are also very large - the size of small apples.

The main attraction in the kitchen is that the purple fruits have a rich red flesh, making Roberts Crab an excellent variety for crab-apple jams and jellies.

The red flesh also contains anthocynanin compounds, which may have anti-oxidant qualities. A 2009 study by researchers at USDA found Roberts Crab to have particularly high levels of Cyanidin-3-0-galactoside.

The juice is a dark red claret colour, which is darker than that of other red-fleshed crab-apples. The juice flavour is sharp and crab-like, and can be used in cider blends.

 

Bio / Organic  fruit trees

Roberts Crab organic apple trees - graft to order

  • 1Maidentree on M9 rootstock 24.95€
    Small tree (1.5m-2.5m after 10 years) Custom graft
  • 2Maidentree on MM111 rootstock 24.95€
    Large tree (3m-5m after 10 years) Custom graft
  • 3Maidentree on Bittenfelder rootstock 24.95€
    Very large tree (5m-6m+ after 10 years) Custom graft
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Growing and Training

This variety is not likely to be as good for pollinating mainstream apple varieties as white-blossomed crab-apple varieties.

Roberts Crab is very precocious, and is likely to blossom and fruit the first season after planting. It grows with an attractive upright spreading form and is reasonably vigorous.

 


Roberts Crab characteristics

  • Gardening skillBeginner
  • Self-fertilitySelf-fertile
  • Flowering group2
  • Pollinating othersPoor
  • PloidyDiploid
  • Fruit bearingSpur-bearer
  • Climate suitabilityTemperate climatesMild damp climates
  • Picking periodearly September
  • Picking seasonMid
  • Season of use2-3 weeks
  • CroppingHeavy
  • Food usesCulinaryJuiceHard cider
  • Country of originUnited Kingdom
  • Period of origin1950 - 1999
  • Flowering monthApril
  • Flesh colourPink / Red
  • Fruit colourPurple
  • Fruit sizeVery large