Photo Essays

A Story Teller Tree

Quince or Crabapple!  

Today this tree in our neighborhood caught my attention while driving towards my home.  I must have seen this tree many times before but only today it intrigued me. Splitting into two at its base, the tree has two stems – one shooting upwards towards the skies with mostly small white flowers while the other with lesser height is loaded predominantly with red flowers. 

There does not seem to be another tree of this kind in this vicinity - at least I don't know one. 

My immediate reaction was that this tree maybe a hybrid or grafted. However, subsequent close up pictures don't seem to support this idea fully particularly as the right stem while has predominantly white flowers also has odd shoots with red flowers.

A close up of the two stems. If you pay attention to the right stem which is carrying mostly white flowers also has a branch that is loaded with red flowers. 


A close up showing both the red and white flowers. Also noticeable difference here is that the red flowered branches have large size leaves while the white flowered branches have small leaves. And the close up on the right highlights the marked difference between the size of the two leaves.


A close up with focus on the red flowers and the large leaves and another close up with focus on the white flowers and the smaller leaves.    

Having written above, I could not resist but go back towards the tree (it by then was dark) and using flash light take another snap shot about this intriguing phenomenon of the tree. (Picture on the left)

Then I started researching on the net and the closest I came to understanding this tree by comparing various flowers was Quince via the article of Mr. Arthur Lee Jacobson at Article - Quince Trees by Arthur Lee Jacobson. Yet, not being sure, I emailed him. He wrote me back:

"The photos show a red-flowered crabapple tree that is being overwhelmed by its white-flowered apple tree rootstock. No quince here. I cannot tell what kind of crabapple exactly (hundreds exist), but likely one in the rosy-bloom group such as 'Hopa'. Plant propagators graft often, and sometimes rootstocks rebel, whether with apple, pear, plum, hawthorn or whatnot. Hence, now and then we see a tree that has partly purple foliage and partly green, or partly white flowers and partly pink."   


More by :  Rajender Krishan

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