Pyrus malus is a small tree to 15 m tall, mostly smaller, widely spreading, bark dark gray, smooth when young, becoming irregularly flaky-rough, tends to root sprout especially if injured, branches with many short, rough, leafy twigs.
Leaves alternate, elliptic to egg-shaped, toothed, white-hairy below often lobed leaves expand mid-May (Britton 1874).
Flowers white, tinged with pink, about 3 cm wide, base densely white-wooly; blooms April-early May (Britton 1874).
Fruit fleshy over cartilaginous, seedy core, variable 6-12 cm diameter, calyx persistent at blossom end. Most are exotic.
Wetland status: NL.
Frequency in NYC: Occasional.
Origin: Eurasian cultivar.
Habitat: Escaped from cultivation into open areas, more often encountered in over grown house sites. Soil pH 4.8-7 (USDA, NRCS 2010). Eventually shaded out by overtopping closed canopy. Many horticultural hybrids and cultivars exist.
Notes: USDA reports this as Malus sylvestris (USDA, NRCS 2010). Domestic apples most likely hybrids of Malus sylvestris, M. dasyphylla Borkh., M. praecox Borkh., and other Asiatic species (Duke 1983; ITIS 2012).