Macromeles tschonoskii (Maxim.) Koidz.

Pillar apple or Chonosuki's crab

Family: Rosaceae

The tree tag number relates to the black tree-maintenance tags, usually fixed on the trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level.

This crab apple species (previously in the genus Malus) is rare in the wild but much planted for its Autumn colour and compact shape. The tree grows to about 17m with branches rising steeply to give the tree a conical shape. The leaves are large with serrated margins and an almost white downy back. They feel thick and leathery. The fruit is a small apple, about 2cm in diameter, mostly greenish with a reddish tinge. The fruits are produced sparsely. The pillar apple was collected on Mount Fujiyama in Japan in 1897 by Sargent. It was awarded and RHS Award of Merit in 1962 and an Award of Garden Merit in 1984.

Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2011. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.