Maypole Crabapple

Maypole Crabapple

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History: Maypole was developed in 1976 by Plant Breeding International at the East Malling Research Station in the UK as a cross between Wijcik Spur McIntosh and Baskatong. Wijcik Spur McIntosh originated as a mutation discovered on a McIntosh tree in 1962 in the Wijcik Orchards in British Columbia, the branch growing oddly straight with little branching. Several varieties were deliberately bred to have this mutation and now Maypole, released in 1986, is one of six columnar varieties developed at the station. This series of trees is known as Ballerina in the UK but due to that name being unavailable in the US, they are known as Colonnade in North America. 

Why We Grow It: Not only is Maypole unique as a columnar apple, this crabapple also boasts lovely red flesh, bronze coloured leaves, and pretty pink blossoms in the spring. This makes it overall a lovely ornamental tree to have, whether planted in the yard or in a pot. The fruit is also excellent for jelly, apple butter, and cider, adding a red hue to each.

Canadian Hardiness Zone: 4

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: Moderately vigorous and does well in pots, spur-bearing. Susceptible to scab, cedar apple rust, fireblight, and powdery mildew.

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

Bloom Colour: Pink

Ripens: September

Fruit Size: 3-4cm in diameter

Storage: Keeps a few weeks at most when refrigerated

Recommended Use: Jelly, cooking, cider

Cider Properties:
  • Sugar: High
  • Acidity: High
  • Recommendations: Adds sugar and acidity to blends along with a red hue

Size including roots:

  • 1m+ Whip: 100-200cm
  • 1m+ Branched: 100cm+ with at least three branches 30cm+
  • 50-80cm Whip: 50-80cm
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