‘Harvest Gold’ flowering crab apple
‘Harvest Gold’ flowering crab apple shines when cloaked with golden fruit.
Photo/Illustration: Jennifer Benner
Crab apples (Malus cvs., Zones 3–9) come in a wide array of fruit colors: burgundy purple, red, orange, green, and—my favorite—yellow. Of the several disease-resistant, yellow-fruiting cultivars, ‘Harvest Gold’ seems to be one of the best. Starting off in midspring with fragrant, red-budded, white flowers, this selection hits the gardening season running.
As the flowers fade, the disease-free foliage emerges. The fruit become the star of the show as they turn a magnificent golden yellow in fall after the foliage drops. The fruit are especially beautiful when enveloped in evening light. They fade to the color of dried apples when fierce cold strikes, but they will remain on the tree until birds clean the branches.
‘Harvest Gold’ has a dense, rounded form and is easy to grow in a wide range of well-drained soils. The tree requires full sun or nearly so to produce the best fruit. It grows rather quickly and probably needs another cultivar of apple or crab apple somewhere nearby to cross-pollinate, which is usually not a problem in most parts of the country.
Malus ‘Harvest Gold’
Zones: 4 to 8
Size: 15 to 20 feet tall and wide
Fruit Duration: fall
Good For: three-season interest; large landscapes