Kerr Applecrab

Kerr Applecrab

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History: Kerr is an applecrab (cross between crabapple and apple) with Dolgo and Haralson parentage. It was developed at the Morden Research Station in Manitoba in the 1950s and named after plant breeder and ecologist William Les Kerr who was working at the station at the time.

Why We Grow It: The fruit is a pleasant dark red and unlike true crabapples, has a pleasantly sweet and tart flavour that makes it good for fresh eating. Although small, the fruit stores well and are quite juicy which makes them good for pressing. The juice does well when added to cider blends.

Canadian Hardiness Zone: 2

Soil Preference: Sandy loam, loam, clay loam. Prefers average to moist conditions, avoid planting anywhere that floods for more than two weeks in the spring. Generally quite adaptable to different soil conditions. 

Growth Habits and Disease Resistance: Vigorous and very hardy, good crops. 

Sun/Shade: Full sun (approx. 8-10 hours of sun daily)

Pollination: Partially self-pollinating, this variety will produce some fruit without an apple tree of a different variety but will produce more and better fruit if one is present. Like other crabapples and applecrabs, this variety is an excellent pollinator thanks to its large number of blossoms.

Flowering Time: Middle

Ripens: Late September

Fruit Size: 1.5-2in in diameter

Storage: Keeps until February when stored in cool, humid conditions

Recommended Use: Fresh eating, preserving, cider

Cider Properties:*
  • Class: Bittersharp
  • Sugar: Medium, SG 1.052
  • Acidity: Very high
  • Tannins: Medium 
  • Juice Yield: High
  • Taste: Unique flavour
  • Recommendations: Makes a good base for blends, adds acidity and astringency

Size including roots:

  • 1 year grade 100-200 cm whip
  • 2 year grade 100 cm+ with 3 or more branches, 30 cm or more
  • B grade less than 100 cm

*Information based on Bob Bors et al's "Breeding of Grapes and Apples with an Emphasis on Juice Products and Rootstock" (2014)