3 Chestnut Crabapple (A)
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3 Chestnut crab QR
Basic Information about this tree
  • Scientific Name: Malus ioensis – variety ‘Chestnut’ – Origin- U Mn in 1946 as an open-pollinated seedling of ‘Malinda’ (Malus Pumila)
  • Deciduous 
  • Sunlight / Moisture requirements / Soil preference: moist well drained slightly acidic soil, Crab apple needs full sun, or it will become scraggly,  moist, rich sites, but will tolerate dry conditions on limestone or alkali soil.
  • Flowering type:  Complete – have both female and male parts in each bloom
  • Pollination strategy: need pollen from a different tree, mostly by Insects
  • Native
  • Age Estimate/ Health: 5 years in 2024, healthy
  • Longevity: 14-26 years
  • Mature Size: 10-25 ft tall by up to 25 ft wide
  • GPS Coordinates N45.00228 W92.90453

Mature Tree in Winter/ Summer

3 Chestnut crab summer

Leaves in Summer / Fall

Leaves are simple and alternate, the blade oblong-elliptic to egg-shaped is 2 to 3 inches long and ¾ to 2 inches wide, pointed to rounded at the tip, rounded to wedge-shaped at the base, on a ½ to 1 inch stalk covered in woolly hairs. The upper surface is dark green, hairy when young becoming hairless or nearly so; the lower surface is lighter and covered in woolly hairs especially along the veins. Edges are toothed, sometimes doubly, with pointed or rounded teeth. At least some leaves have up to 3 shallow lobes per side, often the lobes at the base are more pronounced.

3 chestnut summer leaves
3 chestnut fall leaves

Flowers - Complete

Blooming time : May – June Color: White, Pink. Clusters of 2-6 flowers develop from the tips of twigs and short lateral spurs. The pedicels of these flowers are ¾–1½” long and densely pubescent. Individuals’ flowers are 1¼–2″ across; each flower consists of 5 light pinks to nearly white petals.

3 chestnut flowers
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Fruit Unripe / Ripe

3 chestnut unripe fruit
3 chestnut ripe fruit

Bark of Mature Tree / root system sketch

3 Chestnut crab bark
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Uses in Traditional and Modern Eras


Value for wildlife: Blooms provide pollen and nectar, fruits are eaten by deer, birds, and others. 

Utility for Humans: Decorative tree for landscaping, blooms in  Spring. Apples have pleasant nut-like flavor. Large crabapple (2″ diameter). Outstanding flavor and good texture for fresh eating. Medium storage life. Fruits are eaten fresh or used in cooking such as for applesauce, apple butter, apple jelly, pies, syrups. Wood is used for carved small wood bowls, writing pen covering. Apple wood is sometimes used in recreational fires and burns with a pleasant aroma.

Traditional uses in Native American Tree Medicine (historical): Information provided by Paul Red Elk, Lakota Medicine Man: All members of this genus contain the toxin hydrogen cyanide in their seeds and possibly also in their leaves, but not in their fruits. Hydrogen cyanide is the substance that gives almonds their characteristic taste, but it should only be consumed in very small quantities. Should not be consumed in very large quantities. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion. The crabapple is astringent and a mild laxative.

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