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Green Friday

Malus hupehensis Tree

Tea Crab Apple Trees
  • Now £75 (VAT Free)

Malus hupehensis or Tea Crab Apple is one of the most prolific flowering crab apple trees and renowned for its cloak of immaculate, fragrant white blossom 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
  • Height and spread in 20 years: 5 x 4 metres
  • Awards: RHS Award of Garden Merit
  • Environmental benefits: Good for pollinators, food for birds
  • Flowers: Prolific white spring blossom
  • Fruits: Partially self fertile, with red crab apples in autumn
  • Foliage: Dark-green, deciduous
  • Soil: Tolerant of all but prefers a moist, well-drained position

Planting Advice for Malus hupehensis Trees

Tea Crab Apple trees prefer a location in full sun or partial shade.

Our pot grown Tea Crab Apples can be planted at any time of the year. Remove weeds and grass in the surrounding area so the tree will not be competing for nutrients. Dig a square hole as deep as the root mass and about twice as wide. To help the tree establish, 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 for Malus hupehensis Trees

For spring and summer planting of Hupeh Crab Apple, water the tree well for the first few months. Increase watering in periods of hot or dry weather. If planting in autumn, you may only need to water a little. Watering kits make it easier.

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 advice for 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 Costs

*Free delivery promotion excludes mature trees, extra large kits and delivery to Highlands or Islands. Discount applies at checkout.

  Small/medium trees & shrubs

Select semi-mature trees & shrubs

All other mature trees
Mainland UK ex. Scottish Highlands £8 for any quantity £35 for 1-4 trees From £55 for any quantity
Scottish Highlands & the Islands From £30    
Outside Mainland UK Currently we are unable to deliver outside of Mainland UK

Delivery Times

Next Day Despatch
We will always try to get your plants to you as quickly as possible.  For many of our trees and plants, if you order today we will despatch your order within 24 hours.  We are constantly adding to our range of next day plants, and we do not add a surcharge for this service. Click here to see our next day delivery plants.

Standard Delivery
We have one of the widest range of trees in the UK, and for those plants which we cannot despatch next day we will normally despatch within 4 weeks. The despatch time for different products will be confirmed when products are added to your shopping basket

We will only want to deliver your orders when they are perfect for planting! Depending on the season and how well the plants are growing, we will give our best estimates of the despatch dates for pre-orders.  These dates may vary and by species and while we will always try to deliver within these timeframes if the expected despatch does change then we will notify you by email.

Special Orders
Orders containing pleached or mature trees (trees over 2.5m in height) are delivered within 3 weeks. They require specialist delivery and are grouped geographically. Any customers ordering pleached or mature trees will be contacted and notified of their delivery date.

If your trees are required by a specific date, please let us know as soon as possible; while we can’t offer any guarantees we will always do our best to accommodate you. You can leave instructions in the notes field on the Delivery Page of the Checkout or send us an email at [email protected].

Please note that orders are shipped once all the trees in the order are ready.

Collections are by appointment only at our West Yorkshire-based nursery. If you would like to place an order for collection, please get in touch before placing your order. You will not be charged a delivery cost for a collection and any delivery cost that has been applied will be refunded.

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. *Pot sizes may vary. Below are definitions of terms:

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

Single Stem tree: Classic tree with one trunk, pruned for a beautiful, natural shape.

Top grafted tree: A height next to this form refers to the length of clear stem, which will not grow taller. Only the head of branches will develop. Ideal for small spaces.

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

Multi Stem tree: Two or more stems arising from or near ground level, growing from one root system.

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

Clump: Several plants in one pot that give the appearance of a bushy multi stem tree.

Climber: Naturally climbing plant. Usually delivered running up a 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.


Plant Specification Form Size Root type Price Quantity Qty
Malus hupehensis Tree Form: Single stem tree Size: 150-200cm Root type: 12L pot* Malus hupehensis Tree Price £75 (VAT Free) Was £85 (VAT Free)
Single stem tree 150-200cm 12L pot* £75 (VAT Free) Was £85 (VAT Free)
Ready by: 31st Aug 2024
Ready by: 31st Aug 2024
Total: £0 (VAT Free)