- Bittersharp juice
- High Acidity
- High Sugar
- Heavy Cropper
- Hardy to zone 3
Hewe’s Crab is one of the earliest American cider apples, 100 year old trees were discovered in Virginia in 1817, so the exact date of planting is unknown. Also commonly known as Virginia Crab.
It is absolutely one of the best cider crab apples available today. It produces a clear, dry, full-bodied and biscuity cider reminiscent of champagne, which is excellent by itself or used in a blend. Virginia Crab is at the center of Viriginia’s cider revival, and is used by several producers, including Albemarle CiderWorks, Foggy Ridge Cider, and Castle Hill Cider. It produces a delicious cinnamon-flavored cider that is both sugary and pungent. Jefferson planted his entire north orchard exclusively with this variety and once wrote that crushing the juicy Hewe’s Crab for cider was like “squeezing a wet sponge.”
This is also a good pollinator of other apple trees, since it produces lots of blossom over quite a long period.
Fruit is very small (1 ½ inches diameter) with dark green skin mostly covered with dull, purplish red and numerous large white dots. Flesh is firm, crisp, astringent and quite acid in flavor. Ripens September to October and is a good keeper. Quite susceptible to cedar apple rust. Hardy to zone 3, possibly even zone 2.