Crabapple Tree Symbolism Facts & Meaning: Zodiac, Superstitions, Dreams, and Myths
Crabapple Tree Facts
Crabapple Trees are small beautiful deciduous trees with the genus Malus belonging to the rose family or Rosaceae, along with the apple tree. Crabapple Trees can grow up to 4-12 meters tall in their maturity. The Crabapple Tree leaves are oval in shape and have serrated edges. Their foliage forms a spread-out canopy with a roughly round shape.
Their scientific name, Malus Sylvestris, is Latin for “wild apple.” The tree’s common name “Crabapple Tree” possibly came from the crab-like appearance of its twigs which grows spines.
The most beautiful part of the Crabapple Trees is their flowers. These fragrant blooms appear from April to June and develop into the tree’s fruit. The flowers can be pink, white, or red in color and can come in various sizes depending on the species of the Crabapple Tree. These flowers produce high pollen content, ideal for garden keepers.
The Crabapple flowers develop into fruits, also varying in size depending on the species of the tree. The Crabapples are commonly red but can sometimes come in the color yellow, maroon, or orange. These bite-sized fruits can grow up to 2 inches in diameter.
Crabapples can be eaten raw or prepared. However, its natural flavor can be too tart for most people’s taste. It is recommended not to eat the seeds as, like apple seeds, it contains cyanide compounds.
Crabapple Tree Uses
The high amount of pollens from Crabapple Tree flowers is a great benefit to pollinators in the environment. This makes Crabapple Trees important in apple orchards to help cross-pollinate cultivated apples. Its leaves are also the main food source for caterpillars. The fruits of Crabapple Trees are also a great food source for smaller mammals and birds.
Their beautiful appearance also makes them a popular tree to plant in gardens and landscapes. They are also ideal plants as windbreakers and for wildlife as Crabapple Trees retain their leaves longer into winter compared to other deciduous trees.
The Crabapple fruits are not the most delicious to humans but they can be tasty when prepared. The fruits can be served roasted and paired with meats. They are also used as jellies because of their high pectin content and as ingredients for jams, ales, or other liqueurs.
When burned, the woods of the Crabapple Tree gives a pleasant scent. The wood produces little flame and burns slowly making them great for wood smoking. Its scent also gives great flavor to smoked food.
The wood of the Crabapple Tree is also sought after for wood carving. Lastly, yellow dye can be extracted from the bark of the Crabapple Tree which is used to color wool in Ireland.
Crabapple Tree History
The Crabapple Tree is said to be originated in the mountain regions of central Asia, or modern-day Kazakhstan where they were cultivated by the locals. The tree was introduced to other areas of Asia via the Silk Road. Romans brought cultivars of the Crabapple Tree to Europe where great diversification of the tree began and it became the cultivar of choice.
In the 1600s English colonizers brought Crabapple fruits to America. They believed that eating the Crabapple fruits will help fight off scurvy and fungal infections during the journey across the Atlantic. Records show in 1623, the English colonists introduced the Crabapple Tree to America to use as hard cider.
Today, Crabapple Trees are sought-after trees found all throughout the northern hemisphere.
Crabapple Tree Positive Symbolism
There is plenty of positive symbolism that the Crabapple Tree represents. Its main associations are marriage, love, and fertility due to its appealing fragrance, beautiful blooms, and long season. Fertility representation made Crabapples necessary trees in apple orchards to yield bountiful crops.
The Crabapple Tree also symbolizes youth, surprise, magic, and joy. The tree is a symbol of endless different possibilities.
Crabapple Tree Negative Symbolism
In some parts of Europe, Crabapples symbolize death. There is a saying that apple blossoms that bloom during Autumn will bring death to families. During the Baroque period in Europe, death is depicted in artworks holding a Crabapple.
Crabapple Tree Cultural Symbolism
In China, Crabapple Trees are planted near or outside palaces to represent honor, distinction, and health.
In Norse, Greek, and Irish lore, Crabapple or wild apples are symbols of immortality, long life, and youth. In ancient European traditions, Crabapples and apples are symbols of death and a means to contact other worlds. The Celts also hold the woods of Crabapple Trees sacred as they symbolize fertility.
Many artworks depict Crabapple Trees through the ages. Shakespeare included the tree in reference on his works Midsummer Night’s Dream and Love’s Labour Lost.
Crabapple Tree Zodiac Sign
Taurus is the zodiac sign that is most associated with the Crabapple, specifically the Crabapple blossoms. As an earth sign, Taurus shows sensitivity, groundedness, warmth, as well as humility. They can also be hard-headed and tenacious, much like Crabapples in their long blooms.
In Celtic astrology, Crabapple Trees represent those born from February 1 to February 10 and August 3 to August 11. They can be described as aloof and mysterious. They can be hard to get close to but make valuable friends when their trust is gained.
Crabapple Tree in Dreams
Dreaming about Crabapple Trees can be interpreted in many different ways depending on the situation of the dreamer and the context of the dream. When a Crabapple Tree appears in dreams, it can be interpreted as leaving a life of fantasy, having something to protect, having the need to be more emotionally expressive, or reaching a point of success in life.
Crabapple Tree Omens and Superstitions
According to one superstition, if a Crabapple seed is thrown into a fire while speaking the name of romantic love, it is true love if the seeds explode in the fire.
In medieval times, it is believed that apples carry demons and evil spirits. To make it safe to eat, people should first rub the apple to avoid any demonic or evil possessions.
In old Norse stories, the branches of Crabapple Trees are used as wands to cast love spells.
Crabapple Tree Mythology and Folklore
In Greek mythology, apples were seen as a life-giving force from the gods. An apple tree was kept in the Garden of Herperides, a wedding gift from the Mother Earth Goddess Gaia for Hera. The apple tree was guarded by the dragon Ladon. The demigod Heracles was tasked to retrieve one of these apples as part of his 12 labors.
In Norse Mythology, the Goddess Iddun kept the apples of immortality, fed to the Norse gods to keep them young and deathless.