Orchard Apple - Malus domestica


Tree growing to 7 meters usually grown domestically for its edible fruit.

Similar Species
Crab Apple (Malus sylvestris) is similar but has glabrous leaf undersurfaces and pedicels, and usually has smaller fruit - however, the two species can be very hard to tell apart
Identification difficulty
ID guidance
Leaves pedicels and outside of calyx hairy or downy.  Self-set orchard apples often have small yellowish sour fruits.
Recording advice

Photos showing underside of mature leaves, pedicels (flower-stalks) and calyx. 


Found as an escape from cultivation in various habitats.

When to see it

Flowers in April.

Life History


UK Status

Widespread as an escape from cultivation in Britain.

VC55 Status

Occasional as an escape from cultivation in Leicestershire and Rutland. It was not recorded in the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire.  In the past, mistakenly recorded as crab-apple; it is probably commoner than this native species and many trees in roadside hedges are likely to be M domestica

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Apple, Apple Tree, Cultivated Apple
Species group:
Trees, Shrubs & Climbers
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
22/08/2007 (Dave Wood)
Last record:
24/08/2023 (O'Brien, Helen)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

The latest images and records displayed below include those awaiting verification checks so we cannot guarantee that every identification is correct. Once accepted, the record displays a green tick.

In the Latest Records section, click on the header to sort A-Z, and again to sort Z-A. Use the header boxes to filter the list.

Latest images

Latest records

Photo of the association

Bohemannia pulverosella

The larvae create a distinctive blotch mine in the leaves of Apple. The larva cuts an exit hole on the underside of the leaf, which distinguishes the mine from that of Ectoedemia atricollis.

Photo of the association

Rosy Apple Aphid

The aphid Dysaphis plantaginea induces yellowish crumpled leaf galls on apple in spring. The aphids within can be green or red.

Photo of the association

Rosy Leaf-curling Aphid agg.

The Dysaphis devecta species group includes three species: D. devecta, D. anthrisci and D. chaerophylli. All members of the D. devecta group roll the edges of apple leaves and turn them red to produce a characteristic gall.

Photo of the association

Woolly Apple Aphid

Eriosoma lanigerum wingless females (apterae) are purple, red or brown and are the most often recorded form of this aphid.  They are usually found on their secondary host – Apple - causing lumpy irregular galls on branches, which become woody and persist after the aphids have left.  The aphid is a considered to be a pest of orchards and can cause damage to the tree.  

The aphids are covered in thick white flocculent (woolly) wax. This is produced by distinct wax glands on the head and along the thorax and abdomen. The body length of Eriosoma lanigerum apterae is 1.2 to 2.6 mm.