Wild apple trees belong to the genus Malus and since most of these trees are out of the direct population of people, many animals and birds have made them home. However, the future of some of our wildlife is being threatened because these trees will die quickly from being crowded in, denied sunlight from bigger trees and not cared for. For this reason, these "forests" are being slowing cleaned up and the trees given attention. This infringes on big business that has enjoyed making use of the wild apples.
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Wild apple trees, also known as Pyrus malus, originated in Britain and are the foundation for all of our apples trees today. They were brought to North America by the early settlers, and since then the apple market has generated more than 2,000 different kinds of apples. Some of these include Spartan, Gala, Delicious and Granny Smith apples. Today, there are thousands of apple orchards throughout the world that are cultivated and fertilised and that produce quality fruit. Yet, there are still many wild apple trees.
Why They Are Called Wild
Wild apple trees get their name because they are apple trees that are not cared for and grow in uncultivated ground or fields. Some wild apple trees are the remains of abandoned orchards while others are the result of animals or birds eating the seeds and then depositing them onto other land through their droppings. These seeds often grow among other wild and more aggressive bushes in uncared-for fields, causing them to be unsightly and broken.
Although the fruit is small and usually filled with knots and often worms, they still have the nutritional values of fruit from trees that are cared for. These include vitamins including A, B1, B2, B6, C, E and K, as well as niacin and folate. They also supply a healthy portion of calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc and copper. The flesh nearest to the skin is where the malic and gallic acids are found, and these acids are valuable for medicinal uses.
Wild apples are high in malic and tartaric acids that neutralise the acids in the stomach by changing them into alkaline carbonates and stopping the sour fermentation. Apples also help digest other foods such as meat and dairy and cooked apples help to soothe sore throats.
The sugar in the apples go quickly into the blood stream giving instant energy by boosting metabolism, and in countries like Normandy where apple cider is a common drink, there is an absence of calcium build-up in the body.
While the raw wild apples help prevent constipation, stewed apples and the cider alone is rich in tannin and is helpful in treating chronic diarrhoea. Apples are great for the teeth because it cleanses them as they're being chewed, and it helps to keep the gums healthy.
Uses of Wild Apples
While we don't eat the bitter bark, there is oil that is extracted from it that is used to make apple essence, an ingredient to make an alcoholic solution, which is a base for other beverages. The apples are used for making variations of apple juice and apple cider, jams and marmalades, stewed apples and apple sauce, chutneys and apple desserts such as pie, dumplings, cake and crumble.
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