Apple tree – Kazakhstan apple (Malus sieversii)
Zone 3 self-fertile: The Kazakhstan apple (Malus sieversii) is the most impressive and diverse of wild apple species. It originates from native forests in central Asia; forests which are now gradually disappearing, largely as a result of human intervention. This species is well known for being the ancestral source of most of the domestic apple cultivars available today. Each of its seeds contains a large and very diversified gene-pool. The great genetic diversity of these trees makes them very interesting pollinators. The trees, like the apples, come in a variety of sizes and shapes. In general, its appearance and growth habit will be wilder than those of domestic cultivars. Its height at maturity can vary between 5 and 12 metres, and the majority of specimens have bright red leaves in fall. Given this diversity, the fruit of each tree is also a true surprise: the apples might be flavourful and tasty – or they might be horrible to eat! They are best suited to collectors and enthusiasts.