Crabapples are apples up to 1 1/2 inches (3 1/2 cm) wide. Applecrabs are from 1 1/2 to 2 inches (3 1/2 to 5 cm) wide. Anything over 2 inches (5 cm) gets classed as an apple.
Applecrabs generally have more flavour than crabapples, are less tart, and grow larger than them as well.
Some people categorize crabapples such as “Columbia”, and “Arctic Red” as applecrabs because, while they are tart, they are not so tart that they can’t be eaten fresh by those who like tart apples.
Applecrab trees tend to be very hardy, which make them popular in the North American plains areas. They can also be used to graft less hardy apple tree branches onto. Applecrab trees tend to be very vigorous growers that need regular pruning.
The trees need cross-pollination with another variety of applecrab, or with an apple or crabapple tree.
Applecrabs are too small for commercial use, though their tartness means they wouldn’t have universal appeal, anyway.
They are mostly for home growing and home use.
Depending on the cultivar of Applecrab, the fruit can be used for fresh-eating, canning, jellies, juice, or dehydrating.
Owing to the small size of Applecrabs, it can be finicky to core the quantity needed for pies; some recommend using the cylindrical cutter tool that labs use to punch corks.