Summer 2024Pre-orders are now open. Deliveries will begin again in September for pot grown trees and December for bare-rooted or mixed tree orders.
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Cardinal crab apple trees

Malus hupehensis
Cardinal has received the RHS Award of Garden MeritCardinal is listed in the RHS Plants for Pollinators
  • Self-fertility: Partially self-fertile
  • Blossom colour: Pink - dark
  • Fruit colour: Red - dark
  • Awards: RHS AGM (current) 2012
Also known as Princeton Cardinal, a bronze-leaved crab-apple with pink-red spring blossom and red fruitlets in the autumn.

Cardinal 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 12L pot-grown tree Semi-vigorous rootstock £60.50
    Large tree (3m-5m after 10 years)


  • BR11-year bare-root tree Semi-vigorous rootstock £36.75
    Large tree (3m-5m after 10 years)
Next deliveries

You can pre-order now, deliveries start in September.

Delivery charges

Delivery for a single tree starts at £9.95. It is calculated when you add trees to your basket, based on your postcode.

Malus 'Cardinal' (or 'Princeton Cardinal') is named for its intense purple-pink flowers which are borne in great profusion in April - the tree can appear to be almost drowning under the weight of blossom.

In autumn the tree is covered in tiny dark red fruitlets, which persist on the tree into early winter. In good autumn weather (sunny days and cold nights) the leaves will take on red hues.

Like many pink-flowered crab-apples the leaves are also a deep bronze colour in the spring, lightening to bronze-tinged green over the summer, and taking on some orange colour in the autumn.

How to grow

Malus Cardinal is very cold-hardy.

It is also one of the most disease-resistant of the bronze-leaved crab-apples, with good resistance to scab and mildew.

It grows with an attractive upright habit which soon becomes spreading and flat-topped, and makes a pleasing sight in the landscape.

The bronze colouration of the leaves becomes more apparent as the tree gets older.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.


Malus Cardinal is also widely known as 'Princeton Cardinal', having been developed at Princeton, New Jersey.

Although usually considered to belong to the species Malus hupehensis, it actually has a mixed parentage, being a cross of Malus 'Strawberry Parfait' (Malus hupehensis) and Malus 'Crimson Cloud' (Malus baccata x Malus 'Almey'). Most forms of Malus hupehensis have white blossom and green leaves, so Malus Cardinal is quite different in this respect. However it retains the characteristic flat-topped spreading shape of the species.

Cardinal characteristics


  • Gardening skillBeginner
  • Self-fertilityPartially self-fertile
  • Flowering group4
  • Pollinating othersPoor
  • Climate suitabilityTemperate climatesMild damp climates


  • Picking seasonLate
  • CroppingGood


  • Disease resistanceGood


  • Country of originUnited States
  • Period of origin1950 - 1999
  • Flowering monthApril
  • Blossom colourPink - dark
  • Fruit colourRed - dark
  • AwardsRHS AGM (current)