Mystery tree...wild pear or crab apple?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Ravenlost, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    24,572
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Location:
    MS
    I have a tree that I can't figure out. It blooms early in the Spring - white blooms like those ornamental pear trees - has shiny green leaves that make me think it's a pear. The fruit right now looks like clusters of tiny green apples and when I cut one in half with a fingernail it smelled like a green apple. But the skin looks like an unripe pear. The fruit never gets bigger than a large pea and it turns slightly brown.

    Anyone know what that is?
     
  2. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

    Messages:
    4,588
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    The Quiet Corner of CT
    It sounds like a true crab apple...but....do the fruit get softer when they turn brown? I've never had one, but I've read about these fruit called Medlars that supposedly have tiny brown fruit that taste like spiced apple sauce. It did say, however, that the fruit gets soft.
     

  3. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    24,572
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Location:
    MS
    No, it doesn't get soft. What you describe sounds like the tree we have down in the woods. My mom called it a May Apple tree. In the Fall the fruit turns brown and has a spicy-plum taste (I had to taste one last Fall...hubby was to chicken to try it). VERY tasty, but the fruit is so small and all in top of the tree it wasn't worth trying to gather it for jam. My brother said May Apple Jam is the best he's ever eaten.

    I tend to lean toward this being a wild pear of some type...or an ornamental pear that somehow got itself started in the middle of our pasture under a Sweet Gum tree (courtesy of a poopy bird). I'm not going to let hubby cut it down.
     
  4. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

    Messages:
    4,588
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    The Quiet Corner of CT
    wonder why it smells like apple....maybe you've got a wild cross!! But hey, if you have the space and it's pretty, why not keep it!! we kept our crabapples to deter the deer from our more treasured stuff :D
     
  5. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,628
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Best way to find out for sure would be to take a sample in to your local Extension Agent. That's what I did with my first pear tree. ;)
    It may be that you would get better size fruits if you were to do some thinning early on.
    mary
     
  6. GRHE

    GRHE Mountain Ogre

    Messages:
    1,120
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    CA (Northern)
    Sounds a bit to me like an ornamental quince, but I would really have to see it. A good nurseryman could probably tell you, but they are getting real hard to find, most are just retailer now, so you might want to try the extension agents.
     
  7. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    24,572
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Location:
    MS
    I'll cut a twig with leaves and fruit and take it to the County Extension Office (after taking a photo to post here).

    I got all excited thinking it was a Hawthorn (the blooms are the same), but the leaves are all wrong. Still thinking wild pear.