... crabapples are an excellent source of pectin, and their juice can be made into a ruby-coloured jelly with a full, spicy flavour. A small percentage of crabapples in cider makes a more interesting flavour. As Old English Wergulu, the crab apple is one of the nine plants invoked in the pagan Anglo-Saxon Nine Herbs Charm, recorded in the 10th century.
Crabapples are widely grown as ornamental trees, grown for their beautiful flowers or fruit, with numerous cultivars selected for these qualities and for resistance to disease.
Some crabapples are used as rootstocks for domestic apples to add beneficial characteristics. For example, varieties of Baccata, also called Siberian crab, rootstock is used to give additional cold hardiness to the combined plant for orchards in cold northern areas
I've noticed that birds seem to frequent this tree, perhaps because it offers quick protection on their way to and from a drink at lake's edge. And of course, in due time they will dine on the fruit.
"Malus." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 3 Aug 2009, 00:57 UTC. 3 Aug 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Malus&oldid=305728206>.