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Virginia Crab Apple on B.118 (Spring 2022)


An American heirloom and one of the best cider crabapples. Also known as Hewe's Crab, Hugh's Crab, Hughes Crab.

Virginia Crab, aka Hewe's, is a vigorous, productive, healthy tree. Extremely cold hardy, it was once commonly used as a rootstock as far north as Maine. While this tree is more often grown for cider than as an ornamental, the midseason bloom is long lasting and makes this tree an excellent pollenizer. It is susceptible to fireblight and it will need to be thinned to maintain annual bearing.

Virginia Crab is one of the oldest and best American cider crabapples. The fruit is small, light green blushed with a pinkish red and it hangs on a long, slender stem. It yields a juice that is remarkably clear, fermenting to a full-bodied, biscuity cider that carries notes of cinammon. The apple has won high praise from cider makers since 1817, when William Coxe first described the "sweet and highly flavored" juice. Today, Albemarle Cider Works writes: "Our first reserve cider, Virginia Hewes Crab has a complexity rarely found in single varietals. Very balanced, with a bold body, this cider is floral and intense. It pairs well with sausage as well as nutty and mushroom flavors.  10% ABV."

This apple was a favorite of both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who liked his Hewe's blended with Golden Wilding. It remained one of America's favorite cider apples until Prohibition destroyed the cider industry in 1919. Unsuitable for fresh eating, Virginia Crab became a very rare tree until the modern cider revival, which has renewed interest in traditional varieties and methods. Fortunately, enough trees remained to provide material for new orchards. Virginia Crab has been added to the Slow Food Foundation's Ark of Taste, where a more detailed history of the apple can be read.

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Virginia Crab, aka Hewe's, is a vigorous, productive, healthy tree. Extremely cold hardy, it was once commonly used as a rootstock as far north as Maine. While this tree is more often grown for cider than as an ornamental, the midseason bloom is long lasting and makes this tree an excellent pollenizer. It is susceptible to fireblight and it will need to be thinned to maintain annual bearing.

Virginia Crab is one of the oldest and best American cider crabapples. The fruit is small, light green blushed with a pinkish red and it hangs on a long, slender stem. It yields a juice that is remarkably clear, fermenting to a full-bodied, biscuity cider that carries notes of cinammon. The apple has won high praise from cider makers since 1817, when William Coxe first described the "sweet and highly flavored" juice. Today, Albemarle Cider Works writes: "Our first reserve cider, Virginia Hewes Crab has a complexity rarely found in single varietals. Very balanced, with a bold body, this cider is floral and intense. It pairs well with sausage as well as nutty and mushroom flavors.  10% ABV."

This apple was a favorite of both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who liked his Hewe's blended with Golden Wilding. It remained one of America's favorite cider apples until Prohibition destroyed the cider industry in 1919. Unsuitable for fresh eating, Virginia Crab became a very rare tree until the modern cider revival, which has renewed interest in traditional varieties and methods. Fortunately, enough trees remained to provide material for new orchards. Virginia Crab has been added to the Slow Food Foundation's Ark of Taste, where a more detailed history of the apple can be read.


The Fruit

Fruit Type

Category: Apple
Subcategory: Crabapple, Heirloom, Cider, Hot-Climate

Fruit Uses & Storage

Uses: cider
Cider classification: bittersharp
Storage duration: (approximate, depending on storage conditions)

Fruit Appearance

Skin color: red
Flesh color: white

Fruit Origins

Parentage: unknown
Origin: Virginia
Introduced in: 1700s
Introduced by:

The Environment

Calendar & Geography

USDA zones: 3 - 8
Chill hours: 0
Ripening date: Sep 15 (approximate, in New York State) + 0 days after McIntosh

Tree Height & Spacing

Rootstock: B.118 Rootstock
Rootstock size class: Semi-Standard (90% of Standard)
Tree spacing (natural spread of tree): 24'
Good for wildlife planting? N

Diseases & Pests

Fireblight: Susceptible

Pollination

Pollination Factors

Bloom group: 3
Is it self-fertile? N
Is it fertile? Y
Ploidy: Diploid
Rootstock size class: Semi-Standard (90% of Standard)

Pollination Partners

This table shows the first few results from a full search for pollenizers of Virginia Crab Apple on B.118. Please see our Pollenizer Search to run other queries and read how the application uses various factors. Also read more about fruit tree pollination.

Tree Ships Currently in Stock
Pixie Crunch® Apple on B.118 2022 15
GoldRush Apple on B.118 2022 13
Major Apple on B.118 2022 11
Harrison Apple on MM.111 2022 9
Wickson Crab Apple on B.118 2022 9
Cox's Orange Pippin Apple on MM.111 2022 6
Marialena Apple on B.118 2022 6
Yarlington Mill Apple on MM.111 2022 5
CrimsonCrisp™ Apple on MM.111 2022 3
Sundance™ Apple on B.118 2022 3
Muscadet De Dieppe Apple on MM.111 2022 2

See all pollination matches for Virginia Crab Apple on B.118






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