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Winter Crab Apple

To celebrate the Year of the Tree I have been posting about my crab apple, following it changing through the seasons, November Post and October Post. Well, as it’s December I thought I’d post about my crab apple in winter.

The stormy weather of the last couple of weeks has removed the leaves but the tree is anything but bare. It is still covered in glorious red crab apples, which provide some welcome colour on dull, dreary December days. Some branches are so laden they are bent over under the weight of the fruit.

Some apples have fallen to the ground, making a carpet under the tree, others lie squished on the path. I noticed the other day whilst filling the bird feeder a strong smell of fermenting apples in the air.

Blackbirds and starlings are flocking to the tree now the weather is getting colder, perching in the branches and pecking at the crab apples. It’s good to know that whilst I can appreciate the beauty of the tree it is also providing a vital source of food for these birds.

Blackbird in my Crab Apple Tree last winter

Underneath the tree I have a Brunnera that is in flower, a sign of the strangely mild autumn. We’ve had two light frosts but these haven’t been enough to kill off the beautiful forget-me-not like flowers.

Bird splattered Brunnera flowering in December

If I look closely enough on the branches I can see next years flower buds and leaf buds protected from the harsh winter weather we may get by the bud scales. It’s a nice thought to know that these little buds will open into beautiful blossom and green leaves next spring and the cycle will start once more.