Current Whitetail Varieties: Our current apple/crabapple varieties range from archery crabs to late season crabs for hunting & tracking. Some of their many attributes (such as disease resistance) that make them ideal for planting outside of a maintained orchard environment are listed below. We continue to study, develop and add new whitetail selections to our list each year. We hope you find our selections and information helpful in establishing a long term attraction to whitetails.
Stock- What to Expect: Growing conditions and trees will vary each year. Years with a normal growing season will help to establish trees with better limb structure and that average a height at 5-6 ft (cut down for shipping 5-6' including roots). Some years and specific varieties produce a tall whip with a strong root system. Some customers like whips and say they establish much better and some like to see a tree with more limb structure. We have found the key to wildlife plantings to be in a good root system and proper care.
New Website - WhitetailCrabs.com / Spring 2022:
We are growing and making some positive changes for 2022. The company name has been simplified to Whitetail Crabs. You can view the new website at WhitetailCrabs.com. A limited number of available tree counts have been added for Spring 2022 to kick this off. The majority of counts will be added from field counts early this fall. The cost of trees has increased slightly to keep up with increasing supply costs. Shipping is now linked directly to the shipping carrier and your address to give a more precise shipping cost to everyone's location at checkout. We greatly appreciate your support. This includes all the positive on-line feedback that has helped us moving forward. More on the fun side, I will be adding some photos to instagram linked to the new site. Thanks - Terry
Young Foodplot of 30-06
30-06 CRABAPPLE TREE
The 30-06 Crabapple tree was specifically developed for whitetails in the mid to late hunting season. Some of its many attributes include a very heavy bearer, very solid upright limb and tree structure, strong anchored root system, high vigorous tree growth (~25+ feet at maturity) with good disease resistance including high Fireblight resistance. The tree will mature into a very large upright holding a large volume of crabs just over an inch in diameter.
The 30-06 Crabapple will typically start to drop slowly in late fall and will continue to slowly drop throughout late hunting seasons. As a result, whitetails will continue to visit this crab tree on a routine basis and is ideal for stand/blind hunting. This crab is also ideal for sportsmen to visit in the early morning for tracking mature bucks in snow that have turned nockturnal from areas of high hunting pressure. The exact drop period for crabs depends on each years weather conditions (such as continued frost/freezing). Sportsmen feedback for the 2017 hunting period indicated a final drop of crabs into the beginning of January for 30-06 and Droptine crabs.
Spring 2021 -
CROSSBOW CRABAPPLE TREE
Our Crossbow Crabapple variety is used for successfully attracting whitetails to an area in the Fall season. A steady heavy drop of good sized (an inch and over) red crabs will occur. As the tree develops, attributes include a very heavy bearer and strong anchored root system. This crab has also shown good resistance to disease (including Fireblight) in our tests. 30-06, CROSSBOW and DROPTINE are also ideal for Turkey habitat.
DROPTINE CRABAPPLE TREE
This is another cold hardy variety developed for wildlife. Droptine has proven itself from the beginning (archery with a few drops) through late hunting seasons throughout the northern states. Ideally, and very similar to the 30-06 Crabapple above, the Droptine Crabapple has a very slow drop characteristic that creates a continued presence of whitetails visiting the tree during hunting season periods. The crab will ripen to a golden yellow. This crab will produce very early (2 year old trees) with crabs that can vary in size over an inch.
A great selection for the early fall season. Dolgo crab trees crop heavy and have good disease resistance. It produces a nice sized crab 1.5 inches and varies in shape from round to oblong. It performs very well in cold climates. Dolgo crab trees are typically a couple feet smaller in the nursery. So look for a smaller 4' tree than our typical larger 5-6 foot whips and limbed trees. Once planted and stabilized they are fast growers.
Spring 2021 -
Developed by the NY State Experimental Station in the 1930s from crossing Wolf River with a red fleshed crab. It is very hardy, disease resistant, and ripens during the mid fall season in central to northern states. The tree is a heavy bearer with annual cropping. This large crab/apple cross is also very sought after for hard cider, baking, and jelly for those wanting to add a couple multipurpose trees to a whitetail planting.
SHEEPNOSE - Early December
Showing approximate 60% steady drop since October and will continue to drop into January on typical years.
Sheepnose - Early September
Starting to turn Red
Steady Drop Continued Into Late December with Abundant Whitetails (tracks) Searching out drops in snow.
About 90% Gone Into January with Steady Drop Since Fall and Continued Whitetail Feeding in snow Daily
This variety of Sheepnose apple is an ideal whitetail selection providing a very slow constant drop and attraction throughout a majority of the overall hunting season. We studied three different variations of red sheepnose in our trials. This sheepnose has proven to be very hardy and shown to give a constant and extremely slow apple drop from early Fall (archery) right through the late winter hunting seasons. The tree naturally provides a uniform dense crown and will consistently produce a good yield of apples without maintanence. This specific sheepnose produces a mid to larger sized apple and is less "flavorful" and more of a cidar apple. The importance of this variety is the slow drop throughout the hunting season for a constant attraction to whitetails. The photos indicate the slow release of apples from Fall through January. The 4th photo shows the pulverized snow on the ground from whitetails continuing to visit this tree during the late winter hunting seasons. This is an ideal late archery through rifle/late season apple tree.
Spring 2021 -
Gray Ghost Apple Tree
September with some apples starting to get a slight red blush over green background
Start of Fall Drop
Slow drop starting in September/October showing pulverized ground from continued daily visitation
GRAY GHOST APPLE TREE
Our Gray Ghost apple tree is our chosen strain of very hardy Russian apple. Russian apples were planted in northern climates because of their very extreme cold hardiness and other strong attributes. Our Gray Ghost was found as a sport that showed much higher density of apples. High apple density, hardiness, and slow apple drop in the fall make this an ideal addition to any whitetail planting.
The updated photos are from our test plantings at colder/higher elevations after the very cold winter of 2013 where temperatures extended below zero for significant periods of the winter. Following this winter many northern apple trees did not produce in good density or at all. As the photo indicates, this strain showed high densities in 2014 and no impact from the extreme winter. The tree is spreading and very productive, producing a ~2+ inch sour green to slight yellowing apple that develops a red blush in colder climates.
Spring - 2021
Enterprise Apple Tree
Enterprise is one of our modern, extremely disease resistant apples that ripens in late fall. Its main resistance is to scab, cedar apple rust, fire blight and also a moderate resistance to powdery mildew. It is a full sized red cultivar with excellent quality.
Spring 2021 -
Liberty Apple Tree
Liberty is medium sized fall ripening apple with great disease resistance. It is highly resistant to cedar apple rust, fire blight, apple scab, and mildew. The tree has a crown type spreading habitat and grows quickly. Another low maintenance apple tree to be added to whitetail food plots.
Spring 2021 -
EARLY CIDER CRAB
A large very early crab for those looking for an early drop to attract whitetails. A crab that was historically grown in our region on local 1700's to 1800's farms. This is a large (1.5 to 2-inch) crab that ripens in late August. The crab is very juicy and very crisp with a unique sweet tart flavor. The apple is also ideal for those looking for an early crab for Jelly. The crab produces a large crowned tree.
Spring 2021 -
Wickson crab trees are vigorous growers and crop very heavy. They typically start to drop through the fall season and extend through November. They are very cold hardy with good disease resistance with exception to cedar apple rust for those properties with cedar trees. This is a larger crab that is at least 1.5-inches in diameter. A great selection to add into a wildlife planting.