Hewes is a Virginia crab hybrid complex which comes close to true from seed crabapple. A one inch bright red crabapple is produced in dense clusters all along the branches. The fruit makes a delicious jam. Worthy of propagation from seed as well.
The original grafted Hewes or Hughes as it was labeled was purchased by me from Edible Landscaping in Afton, Virginia. This is the more widely available apple that is grafted. The tree has flourished at my farm although the fruit yield fluctuates and has some insect and disease issues without spray. So some protective spray like neem and spinosad would benefit the fruit quality and quantity. The leaves of the grafted 'Hewes' are large and very healthy. In many ways probably a useful apple for cider if more was known about the yield. This selection is a good one and long lived even without spray.
The secondary seedlings from 'Hewes' that I began producing over 25 years ago generally have smaller fruit about half the size however the fruit quantity is very high quality with little insect or disease issues. This is likely due to its reversion or change to more of the Virginia crab that is within it. From seed this tree produces the Ecos selection of the Virginia crab which can be produced from seed without hybridization. Virginia crab is considered a native crabapple to the U.S. although probably it has hybridized over the years. For some reason, seedlings from that original tree has not hybridized often so it stays relatively true from seed in terms of flower and fruit. This is a standard type apple and will grow to 40 ft. or more.
To germinate from seed: Fall plant 1/4 inch deep lightly tamping the soil over the seed. Seeds will sprout in the spring. Refrigerator method: Add to a moist media to a zip lock bag making sure the media is not too wet. Sprinkle seeds in the bag and mix thoroughly. Store at 33-38 F for 90-120 days. Seeds will begin to sprout in 90 days or so. These seeds can be plucked out and planted in pots making sure the root is not broken off. Just lightly cover the seed 1/8 inch deep.
|Genus & Species||Malus x virginiana x hybrid|
|Pollination Requirements||Self fertile.|
|Ease of Cultivation||The Hewes apple was a selection from Thomas Jefferson used for cider. The seedlings from this group are easy to grow and quite vigorous and worthy to grow even from seed. The population 'evens out' over time making it useful to find healthy crabapples with strong flavors and interesting combinations not found in modern apples.|