Malus fusca   Pacific Crabapple, Oregon crab apple

(Also known as Pyrus fusca, Western crabapple)



Southern Alaska to NW California near coast.


Climate, elevation

Low to middle elevations.


Local occurrence (where, how common)

Common but minor component in western Washington swamps.


Habitat preferences

Swamps, marshes, moist sites near streams and estuaries; full sun to partial shade.


Plant strategy type/successional stage (stress-tolerator, competitor, weedy/colonizer, seral, late successional)

Early seral; Does well near salt water, sloughs and estuaries; Tolerant of prolonged soil saturation; Helps stabilize streambanks.


Associated species

Red alder, Nootka rose, Sitka willow


May be collected as: (seed, layered, divisions, etc.)

Seed, layering


Collection restrictions or guidelines

Collect seeds as soon as ripe, as they are a favorite food source of birds.


Seed germination (needs dormancy breaking?)

Seed not sown in fall needs to be cold-stratified for three months.


Seed life (can be stored, short shelf-life, long shelf-life)

Short shelf-life


Recommended seed storage conditions

Seeds do not store well; plant immediately after separating from fruit.


Propagation recommendations (plant seeds, vegetative parts, cuttings, etc.)

Plants can be layered to produce new offshoots, but it may take two years for sufficient roots to develop.


Soil or medium requirements (inoculum necessary?)

Keep soil moist.


Installation form (form, potential for successful outcomes, cost)

1 gallon: $3.00 (Sound Native Plants); Transplants are tolerant of a relatively wide range of soil and light conditions. Transplanting success: high.


Recommended planting density

5-8’ on center


Care requirements after installed (water weekly, water once etc.)

Water egularly to keep soil moist.


Normal rate of growth or spread; lifespan

Growth rate: moderate to rapid; Grows up to 40 feet tall; crown spread up to 40 feet.


Sources cited


Data compiled by Mike Cooksey, 18 May 2003.