These rambling bushy trees attract many songbirds who nest and feed inside the ecosystems created by these large deciduous species with sharp spurs and an abundance of leaves, blossoms, and fruit. Growing primarily in river estuary meadows, along beaches, streams, and forest-wetlands where an abundance of light and rich soil allow these trees to flourish. Often found in areas that are flooded both by fresh and salt water during extreme high tides and seasonal flooding.
These trees are highlighted by extreme colours changes with leaves that change from green to a multitude of fall colours, a profusion of white blossoms, and an abundance of fruit of every shade in the spectrum.
The apples were an important fruit for coastal people, who harvested them in the late summer and early fall and either ate them fresh or stored them under water. Stored in cattail bags or cedar bent boxes, they were a common item for trade and commerce. The deeply coloured wood is hard and somewhat flexible. Coastal people used it for tool handles, bows, wedges, and digging sticks.
Oceanside housing developments, golf-course communities, and RV Parks have taken over the majority of flat shoreline along the east coast of Vancouver Island, displacing tree ecosystems along with many other flora and fauna. Demand for waterfront property continues to grow.