There are more than 25 species of hawthorn trees (Crataegus spp.) . Even though English hawthorn (C. monogyna) is considered an invasive plant in California, other species aren’t. Hawthorn trees have long, tough thorns and typically grow up to 25 feet tall. If you don’t prune off lower divisions, they develop into a tree. In the landscape, their dense divisions make useful privacy displays and some are ideal hedges.
Multiple Seasons of Interest
Hawthorn trees feature over 1 season of attention. In spring or summer, this deciduous tree produces showy flowers in white or shades of red and pink, depending on the variety. In autumn, the leaves add interest to a landscape since they turn orange, gold, red or multi-colored. Many hawthorn varieties bear little red fruit which lure wildlife into your property in autumn or winter.
Many varieties of hawthorn trees are offered for your home garden, but the following have exceptional qualities. Washington hawthorn (C. phaenopyrum) is the least susceptible to fireblight, attracts bees to help pollinate other plants and grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 8. May hawthorn (C. aestivalis) has stunning drooping branches that resist breaking, supplies very dense shade and grows in zones 6 through 9. Russian hawthorn (C. ambigua) adds winter interest with its appealing branching habit and grows in zones 6 through 8.
Hawthorn trees grow well in many of climactic conditions such as coastal locations and zones with cold winters. They thrive in acidic or alkaline soil and many tolerate moist to dry soil, such as “Carrieri” (C. x lavallei “Carrierei”) and Oriental hawthorn (C. pinnitifida). Hawthorn trees grow best in full sunlight and require a moderate quantity of water. In actuality, irrigating too much encourages overly slow growth that compromises the plant’s vigor. Lightly thin inner divisions annually during dormancy to allow the sunshine in and help the plant produce more flowers and fruit.
Possible Pest Issues
Hawthorn trees are vulnerable to numerous pests such as apple aphid, the bark beetle known as the shothole borer and San Jose scale. Apple aphids infrequently kill the tree, and they disperse in warm weather. Aphids can be knocked off with a spray from the garden hose. Beneficial insects generally control San Jose scale for you, unless you kill them by applying broad spectrum insecticides. You can control shothole borers by crushing and removing infested areas of the tree.