Wulf's Webden

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Goodbye to Malus

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Malus trilobata - 1
Malus trilobata in autumn

Not long after buying our house in Oxford, we took a chance on a reduced-price tree we’d never heard of at a nearby garden centre: Malus trilobata. As you can see from the image above, it had beautiful autumn colour and also produced a reasonable crop of small ‘apples’, which could be cooked up. I made some jams and also used them as an addition to several homebrews.

It never thrived though, thickening up a little but not really putting on much height. I think it was pot-bound when we bought it and it also suffered from an ugly graft to the rootstock. We brought it up to Loughborough with us but this year it didn’t even manage to blossom and so we decided to chop it down today.

I did take a few cuttings though. Whether they will come to anything remains to be seen but, if any of them take, I’ll look into grafting them onto a suitable rootstock myself. It is a fascinating and relatively unusual plant and, although our one has reached the end of its life, we’ve already got more than our money’s worth out of it (about £20, as I recall).