Autumn 2021We are selling out of many of the trees already this season. Please order as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
Orange Pippin Trees UK logo

Golden Hornet crab apple trees

Malus x zumi

Golden Hornet is a traditional and popular crab-apple, which features a profusion of pink-white blossom in spring. In autumn it produces a mass of small yellow fruit which will stay on the tree until late in the year providing a useful colour feature in the garden.

The leaves also turn an attractive yellow colour in autumn.

The fruits are useful in the kitchen, for crab-apple jelly and a good source of pectin for jam-making. The fruits are quite persistent (they hang on the tree for a period) but if you are intending to use them in the kitchen, be sure to pick them before they start to drop.

Golden Hornet is an excellent pollinator for most apple varieties, particularly late-flowering varieties (flowering groups 4 and 5), as it produces a lot of blossom over a long period. It is a common sight at the end of rows of apple trees in commercial orchards.

Golden Hornet crab apple trees for sale


All pot-grown trees are suitable for planting out in the garden, some are suitable for growing in containers.

  • PG12-year 7L pot-grown tree Semi-vigorous rootstock £42.50
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
    Out of stock
    Alert me
  • PG22-year 12L pot-grown tree Semi-vigorous rootstock £47.50
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
    Out of stock
    Alert me


  • BR11-year bare-root tree Semi-vigorous rootstock £27.95
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
    Out of stock
    Alert me

How to grow

Golden Hornet can be somewhat prone to leaf-scab in wetter climates. It is also susceptible to fireblight, although this is not an issue for UK growers.

It can also have a tendency to grow in a straggly fashion, although this is a minor inconvenience and does not detract from its usefulness for crab-apple jelly or as a pollinator of other late-flowering apple trees.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.


Golden Hornet was raised by John Waterer and Sons nursery, and introduced in 1948. It is believed to be a seedling of two other crab-apple species, Malus sieboldii calocarpa and Malus prunifolia coccinea.

In 2013 Golden Hornet lost its RHS AGM award, which was subsequently given to another yellow-fruited crab-apple, Comtesse de Paris, which has a better growth habit. However Golden Hornet remains in most respects an excellent choice if you want a persistent yellow-fruited crab-apple which is good in the kitchen. The fruits are arguably more attractive than those of Comtesse de Paris.

Golden Hornet characteristics


  • Gardening skillAverage
  • Self-fertilitySelf-fertile
  • Flowering group5
  • Pollinating othersGood
  • Climate suitabilityTemperate climates


  • Picking seasonVery late
  • CroppingHeavy
  • Food usesCulinary


  • Disease resistanceAverage
  • ScabSome susceptibility


  • Country of originUnited Kingdom
  • Period of origin1900 - 1949
  • Fruit colourYellow
  • AwardsRHS AGM (former)