The Hewes Crab apple tree (also known as Virginia Crab, Virginia Hewes Crab, Hewe’s Crab, Hugh’s Crab, and Hughes Crab) is one of the earliest American cider apple varieties. It was discovered in Virginia in 1817. Moreover, the fruit is small with beautiful dark-green skin that is mostly covered with dull, purplish-red and white dots. Additionally, the flesh is firm, crisp, astringent, and quite acidic in flavor.
It ripens from September to October and keeps well in cold storage. Although it is primarily a cider apple, it is also perfect for making crab apple jelly. However, it is quite susceptible to cedar apple rust and fire blight. You can grow these trees even in USDA zone 3. If you would like to know your hardiness/growing zone, you can do so here.
As with other apple trees, you will need to water the Hewes crab apple tree once a week during its first year and during the fruiting season. If there is drought, you can water more frequently. This tree needs moist but well-draining soil. In order to retain the moisture, you can place mulch around the tree. Additionally, be sure to clear the weeds next to the tree since this will decrease the competition for nutrients. For more information on fruit tree care, see our guides page.