crabapples...do the deer know something I don't????

bumble_doodle(Z5 CT)September 2, 2008

We have a huge crabapple tree that typically gets wipe out by deer (pink flowers, cherry size, red fruit) . This year it's completely overloaded with crabapples and the branches are touching the ground. I've read on this forum that ALL crabapples are edible and thought I might try making some butter, etc. My question is: why would the animals suddenly stop eating the fruit off this tree? Is it really true that all crabapples are edible? I've never eaten or processed a crabapple before and wouldn't want to take a chance on poisoning anyone...lol.

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CA Kate

The deer may have moved-on for some reason; our herd did when the Coyotes moved-in.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 4:40PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

According to Clemson's Horticulture program, all crabapples are edible, though some varieties may be more trouble than they're worth - (i.e. tiny, seedy, requiring extensive pre-cooking and sugaring).

The deer may just have found something they like better. This season they have plenty to choose from. Right now "our" deer are feasting on the JetStar tomatoes and Gravenstein apples. If they find a ripe pear tree, they'll switch to those.

Carol

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 4:54PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

I juiced some crabapples for the first time yesterday. Wow ! What fabulous red color. They are a bit tart, but truly wonderful. They would make good jelly, sauce, or spiced crab apples.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 5:22PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Crabapples make an excellent jelly, beautiful and tasty. I always got my crabapples by "guerilla harvesting" landscaped commercial or institutional areas, since I had none of my own.

If you are a cautious person, you might seek out the landscaper or physical plant department and inquire if pesticides are used on the trees. I was never that cautious.

Jim

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 6:39PM
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bumble_doodle(Z5 CT)

Thank you all for your great advice! Although deer tend to be a problem with some landscaping, I've never had an issue with them helping themselves to our crabapple tree - it saves us a bunch of cleanup in the fall. I'm definitely going to try some butter, jelly etc., but I may limit the taste-testing to family first....lol.

Carol, I feel your pain...we've had a woodchuck wipe out our tomatoes for the second year in a row....

Linda lou, Never even thought about juice...I'll have to give that a try too!

Jim, we bought the property eight years ago and the tree was already there. We haven't used any pesticides, but honestly I never even thought about it until you mentioned it - thanks for the heads up. No pesticides near the crabapple tree....

As kids we used to toss crabapples the same way we would throw a snowball.... maximum impact = maximum humiliation.

Geez, did that apple pack a wallop....I'd rather take a hit from a snowball any day...

Thanks again for your help.
Lisa

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 10:52PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Oh yeah. I forgot you were posting about your own tree. Duh.

Jim

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 7:00AM
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