Crabapples are native to temperate zones of the Northern hemisphere. This includes regions within Central Asia such as, China, Russia, and Kazakhstan. After trans-continental commerce, Malus trees can be found in parts of Europe and North America: the upper Mississippi Valley, Great Lakes Region, Italy, etc. Crabapple trees prefer moist & slightly acidic soils and relatively open areas. Some of their native habitats include forests, savannas, prairies, stream banks, etc.
Origin, history, and uses:
Due to its sour taste, raw crab apples are not commonly used in cooking. However, in some southeast Asian cuisines, they are preserved or brewed as ciders. It is common for malus fruits to be grown for ornamentation. Additionally, crabapples are used as rootsocks to cultivate other apple varieties and as pollinizers in apple orchards.
The lifecycle of Malus trees is typical to other deciduous trees. In early spring (April and May), crab apple trees usually flower. In months of early fall, crab apple trees shed their leaves. From September to November, Malus trees show their fruits, which stay on through the winter months.