Crataegus spp. (Hawthorn) — Native

by Everchanging Gardener

in Crataegus - Hawthorn

Height: 9 m (30 feet)
Bloom: white
Fall Colour: none
Fruit: yes, red

Hawthorns are easy to distinquish as a native tree by their long thorns, flat-topped clusters of white flowers and small red or yellow fruit. It is more difficult however to identify the specific species for a hawthorn.

Hawthorns in a natural setting form dense thickets, readily sprouting from underground roots. The best time to enjoy our native hawthorn is when in bloom as the scent is tremendous. Numerous pests, and in particular in our area japanese beetle, unfortunately ruin the show by fall as the leaves largely defoliate well before autumn.

Another hazard can be the long thorny spines and the nature of branches to break easily and drop. Removal of dropped branches in walking areas is important to avoid thorns breaking through soft soled shoes.

Hawthorn Grove

Our Hawthorn Grove in full bloom by the end of May.

The masses of white flowers are particularly showy in the evening and on days when clouds darken the sky.

Hawthorn In Bloom

Hawthorn trees at peak of bloom

Closeup of hawthorn bloom

Blooms are many and a very striking white as well as very fragrant.

Sharp thorns can be more than 1″ long and are very hard. I limb up our trees in order to work and walk among them. Be warned that on older trees, limbs frequently fall in winter and the thorns can penetrate soft soled shoes. I often get punctured each spring and find the thorns cause a mild infection each time.

Spines of hawthorn

Sharp spines can penetrate soft soled shoes.

Garden Location: several trees naturally growing in the Hawthorn Grove.

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