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Malus hupehensis Tree

Tea Crab Apple Trees
  • £49.99 (VAT Free)
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Malus hupehensis or Tea Crab Apple is one of the most prolific flowering crab apple trees and renowned for its cloak of immaculate white blossoms that cover the tree from top to tail in spring. When the cloud of blossom finally departs, you are left with attractive, dark-green foliage, before a mass of small, red crab apples appear in autumn. These crab apples will usually hang on until the winter, providing a vital source of food for wildlife.

Originating in China where the leaves were brewed to make tea, this Chinese Crab Apple is a popular ornamental tree in the UK that holds the RHS Award of Garden Merit. With a rounded upright shape that broadens with age, Malus hupehensis will grow to 5 x 4 metres in 20 years and is suited to smaller gardens. It prefers a moist but well-drained site in full sun or partial shade.

This variety has large crab apples ideal for culinary use, so is sold with zero VAT.

AKA Chinese Crab apple, Tea Crab apple, Hupeh Crab apple, Hupei Crab apple, Hupeh crab, Malus theifera

  • Common name: Hupeh Crab Apple or Tea Crab Apple tree
  • Awards: RHS Award of Garden Merit
  • Height and spread in 20 years: 5 x 4 metres
  • Seasons of interest: Spring, Autumn, Winter
  • Flowers: Prolific white spring blossom and red crab apples appearing in autumn
  • Foliage: Dark-green
  • Soil: Tolerant of all but prefers a moist, well-drained position

Planting Advice for Malus hupehensis Trees

Our pot grown Tea Crab Apple trees can be planted at any time of the year. Start by removing weeds and grass within a metre of your desired planting hole. Dig a square hole as deep as your root mass and approximately 2-3x as wide. To help the tree establish more effectively, sprinkle root grow in the hole.

Remove the pot, gently loosen the roots and place in the planting hole. Mix 50% of the original soil with 50% compost, fill in the hole and firm around gently. Avoid banking the soil up around the collar of the tree. We recommend planting Tea Crab Apple trees with a stake and tie kit to anchor the roots - instructions are in the planting guide.

Aftercare Advice for Malus hupehensis Trees

If you’re planting Crab Apple in spring or summer, water well for the first few months. Increase watering if there are extended periods of hot or dry weather. If planting in autumn, you may only need to water a little. Irrigation kits can help.

Once planted, keep the area free of competing weeds and grass for the first couple of growing seasons. If your area is prone to rabbits, use a rabbit guard. You can harvest the Crab Apples in early autumn or leave them for birds to enjoy.

Pruning Malus hupehensis Trees

Tea Crab Apple trees can be pruned in winter. They do not require hard pruning and you should not trim the tips of crab apple branches. Simply remove any dead or damaged branches and shoots at the base of the tree i.e. suckers and water sprouts which redirect energy resources from the main stem but do not produce strong branches.

Delivery Timescales

Most deliveries are made within a week of placing the order. All trees are carefully packed by our experienced team, with many despatched to our tried and tested couriers within 24 hours (please allow up to 10 days). There's no need to be in to receive your trees and you can request where they are left via the checkout.

There is a slightly longer timescale on pleached and mature trees (trees over 2.5m in height) because we group orders together by geographic area for specialist delivery - we will contact these customers to notify them of the delivery date and whether the delivery driver needs assistance.

Gift trees and those required by a specific date can be accommodated with pleasure, although we accept no legal responsibility for late deliveries.

Our nursery is a busy despatch centre, so please make an appointment to collect or view trees.  For collections, despatch charges will be refunded.

Delivery Costs

1 small tree (most trees with a height under 1.5 metres) : £7.95 + vat

1 medium tree (most trees 1.5-2 metres in height) or 2-4 small trees: £9.95 + vat

2+ medium trees or 5+ small trees: £12.95 + vat

1-4 large trees (trees too large to fit in a box): £19.95 + vat

Mature, pleached or 5+ large trees: Cost is calculated in the checkout process and varies by postcode. You can buy additional trees with no increase in delivery cost.

The above prices exclude the Scottish Highlands, where delivery starts from £24.95 + vat and is calculated in the checkout process.

Northern Ireland, Channel Islands and Non Mainland UK

Our courier charges are not viable for just one or two trees, but if you have a larger requirement then please do speak to us to see if we can find a solution.

The product table at the bottom of the page gives the forms and sizes available for this variety. Please note, photos are a guideline as all plants are unique. Below are definitions of terms:

Supplied Size: Height measured from the top of the pot.

Single Stem / Pruned and shaped: Classic shaped tree with a single stem that has had pruning to help create a beautiful, natural shape.

Top grafted: A height noted next to this form refers to the length of clear stem, which will not grow taller. Only the head of branches will develop. Top grafted trees do not require complicated pruning and are ideal for small spaces.

Multi Stem: A multi stem tree is has two or more stems arising from or near ground level, growing from one root system. Take care to buy a true multi-stem like all ours and not those that are 3 saplings in a pot to cheaply imitate them.

Feathered: A feathered tree has branches from the bottom of the trunk all the way up. These branches can be removed if a clear stem is required.

Bush: A plant with many stems low down, rather than one clear stem.

Climber: A plant that is a natural climber and will be delivered usually running up a bamboo cane, ready to position in the garden.

Standard Tree: A more mature tree with an upright clear stem of approximately 1.8m-2.0m (measured from the soil to the lowest branches of the crown). Standards are available in different forms relating to their girth size (circumference of the stem measured 1m above soil level), not height:

Standard  either 6-10cm or 8-10cm girth, approximately 2.5-3.0m in height
Premium Standard  10-12cm girth, approximately 3.0-3.5m in height
Heavy Standard  12-14cm girth, approximately 3.5-4.5m in height
Extra Heavy Standard 14-16cm girth approximately 4.0-6m in height

Plant Specification Form Supplied Size Root typePrice Quantity Qty
Malus hupehensis Tree Form: Pruned & Shaped Tree Supplied Size: 150-200cm Root type: 12L pot Malus hupehensis Tree Price £49.99 (VAT Free)
Pruned & Shaped Tree 150-200cm 12L pot £49.99 (VAT Free)
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Total: £0.00 (VAT Free)
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