The Apple, Malus sp.
Like Dandelions and Daisies, everyone, I think, knows what an Apple looks like, unless of course, you're a very fussy eater or have never read an 'ABC' book in your entire life! Many people think that wild apples are small, horrid sour things, and whilst there are some cooking apples out there that fit this description such as Crab Apples, there are, equally, some wonderfully sweet varieties of escaped or naturalised eating apples, too. Apple Trees can be found almost anywhere, from inner-city environments, urban parks and green spaces, the edges of woodland, Hedgerows and even forests. We have a lovely spot on the edge of a forest with a large number of sweet and tangy wild apples, and we gather a load every autumn for crumble, apple-sauce, or just to snack on. Be aware that you can't forage in private or commercial orchards, but if you keep your eyes peeled (no pun intended!), you're sure to find an accessible apple tree somewhere. The leaves and blossoms of apple trees are also edible and can be used in moderation as garnishes, or to make herbal teas, but you should only eat small amounts due to the presence of mild toxins, the same as those found in apple pips and cores.
Apple Tree Checklist
🌳 Deciduous Woodland edges.
🌲 Coniferous Woodland edges.
🐑 Grassland, including paddocks, fields and meadows.
🚜 Hedgerows, including field edges.
🏡 Urban Green Spaces, including scrubland, parks and gardens.
🏢 Urban Environments, wasteland, Streets and pavements.
🌞🍂❄️ Aug - Nov
☘️ Green, Ovate and toothed.
🌷 White, pink or red, five-petaled flowers blooming from Spring to early Summer.
🪓 twisted, often gnarly.
Fruit / Seeds
🍏 Apples form on the tree in late summer to early winter. You can collect them from the ground after they fall, or use a special fruit pole to collect them straight from the tree. We often just lift Arthur up to the low branches so he can gather them!
Aroma / Taste
👃 Apple blossom smells sweet and floral.
👅 Apples can be a range of flavours depnding on the variety, from sour, to tangy, to sweet.
🟩 ID Difficulty - Beginner
👀 Apple trees are best identifed when fruiting as the familar fruits are the key identifying feature.
⛔️ As with all apples, the pips and cores should not be eaten due to the presence of cyanide-inducing compounds.
⛔️ Apple blossom and leaves can be used as a granish or to make teas, but like apple pips, they also contain cyanide inducing compounds, so should be eaten in moderation.
🌺 Garnish - Raw flowers can be used in small amounts as a garnish.
☕️ Beverage - apple blossoms and leaves can used in moderation to make teas.
🧉 Condiment - Apples can be used to make sauces for meats.
🍨 Sweet - Apples can be used to make desserts and puddings.
🍓 Yummy - Apples are a tasty forage snack
💊 Herbal Remedy - Crab apples are often used medicinally.