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BIG LOU™ CRAB
Big Lou™ Crab is easily one of the most unusual and exceptional trees I have ever encountered. This grafted tree is a heavy annual producer of a 2″ apple crab that holds and drops a portion of its fruit during November, December, and January here in Pennsylvania. Big Lou™ Crab drops the most fruit during January but will also retain enough fruit that it will continue to drop well into February. For a video from January 17th, 2020, CLICK HERE.
Big Lou™ Crab has a very unusual taste; it takes on a nutty yet pear-like flavor during the middle of winter. It’s easy to see from the pictures and the video of this tree that Big Lou is a Whitetail’s favorite treat in very late fall and in through winter. Unlike any other fruit I have ever seen, it holds its integrity, even after being frozen and thawed many times. In the pictures of Big Lou’s fruit, you can see that the flesh of this fruit is still firm and intact in the middle of January. If you like to hunt Pennsylvania’s late hunting season in January or many other states throughout the Northeast or the Midwest, this tree is necessary. For a video of Big Lou™ on March 1st, 2021, CLICK HERE.
The original tree resides in North Western Pennsylvania in plant hardiness zone 5a. Big Lou exhibits no sign of Apple Scab, C.A.R, Powdery Mildew, or Fireblight here in the north. The original tree tolerated a sub-zero temperature of -24, which would place its resilience well into plant hardiness zone 4. Plant Hardiness zones 4b – 7. Mature height of 20’+.
The Big Lou™ Crab is made using plant tissue from the original tree and attaching it to the new roots. This process essentially gives you an identical tree to the one you see in the pictures and description.
2-3′ ( 3/8″ dia.) These trees will have a good root system. They will be whips around 3′ high with a trunk diameter of 3/8″.
3-5′ ( 1/2” dia.) These trees will have a good root system with some possible branching, but they will mostly be strong whips. They will range in height between 3′ to 5′ with around a 1/2″ trunk diameter.
4-6′ (+ 1/2” dia.) These trees will have an extensive root system and typically have multiple branches, but many will be solid whips, depending on the cultivar. They will range in height between 4′ and 6′ with a 1/2″ to 3/4″ trunk diameter.
Big Lou™ Crab is grafted to the extremely cold, hardy, and vigorous Rootstock of Malus Dolgo. This Rootstock is an excellent choice for wildlife trees because it produces a full-size 20′ to 30′ tree. Producing a full-size tree for wildlife means much more fruit on a given tree. Malus Dolgo rootstock will develop deep “Real roots,” making it exceptionally well anchored, penetrating well into the subsoil, pulling up lost nutrients, and therefore making Malus Doglo rootstock very drought tolerant. Malus Dolgo is an excellent all-around rootstock for wildlife plantings.
This standard-size Rootstock is adaptable to many soil types and conditions. Therefore, with its full vigor, it can be used in areas that were wooded and are now food plots, reclaimed land, shale mountain soil, dryer uplands, and ridges. Malus Dolgo rootstock will perform exceptionally well in improved soil in an orchard-style setting. We are only grafting onto the most vigorous Malus Dolgo roots grown in a given year. When grafting onto the top 30% of seedlings grown, you get a rootstock that is about 40% more vigorous than many clonal stocks used for wildlife trees today. Malus dolgo is a crabapple rootstock and is very precocious, with many trees producing very quickly and making Malus Dolgo an all-around excellent rootstock for wildlife plantings.
PLANTING INSTRUCTIONS FOR BIG LOU™ CRAB
Plant at least one different apple or crabapple variety close to Big Lou™ crab for pollination. Chestnut crabapple makes an excellent pollinator for Big Lou™ as they bloom simultaneously. The main thing is to plant different cultivars together to receive adequate pollination. Plant all apples and crabapples in moist, well-drained soil with a soil pH between 5.8 – 7 with adequate nutrient levels for optimal growth.
If you have not completed a soil test, click here and improve your soil. I would highly recommend doing so. However, if you are not going to, I would recommend mixing 1 ounce for every three sq ft of 0-20-20 granular fertilizer in your soil at the time of planting. The first number tells you the percentage of nitrogen contained in the fertilizer. Nitrogen applied directly to the tree’s roots will cause death to your tree. Make sure the first number is zero or slow-release like osmocote.
Nitrogen is very mobile in the soil, and You can apply a small amount of nitrogen the following year as needed. The 2nd and 3rd numbers are Phosphorus and Potassium. Apply these two nutrients at or well before planting because they are immobile in the soil. Mix them through the soil. We recommend completing a soil test and making amendments for best results.
Big Lou™ apple crab tree requires a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight for growth and fruit production. Space trees 20′ apart and use at least 5′ cages to protect your trees. This protection will ensure your deer eat your fruit in a few years and not your trees this year.
Shipping to Plant Hardiness zones 3 – 8. We ship on Mondays from mid-March until the last Monday in April. Dormant bare root trees need to be planted in spring while trees in your area are still dormant. You can select your ship date at check out. If you are picking up your trees, the first week in April is perfect for planting in Pennsylvania. You can select your pick-up date as you check out on the website or call or email to make an appointment to pick your trees up.
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|Dimensions||58 × 2.30 × 2.30 in|
2-3' (3/8'' dia.), 3-5' (1/2'' dia.), 4-6' (+1/2'' dia.)
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