Hawthorn Trees : Plant, Grow & Care

If you desire to grow a huge and lovely tree in your garden or backyard, this article may assist you with that! On the other hand, if you are interested in building hedges or a private garden, Hawthorn Tree is the best for you.

There are lots of trees to choose like the Camphor tree, Chestnut tree, and Jeffrey Pine. But in this article, I will explain why you should choose the Hawthorn tree and help you understand how to plant them and grow and care for them. 

What Is the Hawthorn?

If you don’t know what Hawthorn is, there is no need to panic. I will explain everything you have been curious about. It falls under the botanic name of Crataegus. It wides into 3-9 zones which can be considered big in the garden. It grows to 15-50 and 8-85 feet tall, but it can change because of the varieties of the tree.

The tree’s shape depends on the diversity, but they are often deciduous trees with upright spreading or bushy propensities; a few assortments can be kept as shrubs. You may ask, when does Hawthorn bloom? We can safely say that blooming time can be mid to late spring with full exposure to the sun. The petals of it are fragrant white or pink five-petaled blooms taken after apple blossoms. 

Hawthorn Tree in Windy Day

Maybe you don’t know how to identify Hawthorn, but as I mentioned, there are different types of Hawthorns: Common, Washington, English, Thornless cockspur, Chinese, Black Hawthorn, and many more. Most of the time, it is green, toothed, and sometimes lobed. Hawthorns look similar, but the fine detail is their broadly ovate green lobed leaves, garnish clusters of spring blooms and dangling clusters of little berry-like fruits. Hawthorns are moreover known for their spreading adjusted to the cone-shaped crown. 

You can ask if Hawthorn yields. I can assure you that Hawthorn has the most aesthetic and plenteous fruits in your garden. They can be considered pomes like apples or pears, but they are like creamy berries with yellow flesh. You may wonder whether you can eat it. Yes, you can, but the thing is, the fruits are so sour that most of the time, people are using them for jams.

It can be a friend of yours in the breakfast! Another issue I would like to touch upon is whether it is deer-proof. Yes, definitely. This type of tree can resist deer very strongly. The deer can eat the leaves if hungry (not seen much).

Whitey Hawthorn Tree

Types of Hawthorns

In this part, I will be introducing you to other Hawthorns and their unique way of identification. After you read this part, you can determine the differences between the types. All trees have their unique way of representation and vastness.  

Common Hawthorn

This one grows between 15-45 feet wide. It grows small red fruits with lobed green leaves. As its name is given, it has small thorns on the leaves like other types, but it is known for its thorny branches, which be identified by its thorny grey bark with thin, vertical cracks. It is best in full sun exposure with moist, good, drained soil. 

Another identification is flowers. It has unique flowers, masses of creamy-white with dainty pink anthers and it gives off a pleasant spring scent to this type. Its fruit is edible red berries, almost 0.4″ ft, and grows from fall until winter. Some people may call it a single-seed hawthorn due to its thorns, but its known name is Common Hawthorn.

Hawthorn Tree Fruits

Washington Hawthorn

It grows between 20-25 feet tall, which is huge for a tree. It has green leaves with shiny red fruits. It has flat-topped clusters of white flowers. It grows from mid-spring until mid-summer. Its leaves are triangle or ovate shaped and grow 1-3 feet.

Washington has a straight but different arrangement on the thorny branches, but when you touch or smell it, you can smell an irritating fragrance. Even though it smells unpleasant, it grows shiny, bright red pome clusters (0.2″) from September to November. Due to its largeness and beauty, people consider it the prettiest decorative Hawthorns. Many people use them to decorate their gardens. 

Hawthorn Tree Blossoms

English Hawthorn

This tree’s uniqueness is because it mainly grows in Europe, and that’s why it is called English. It grows 26 feet tall with dark red round fruits. Its fruits are cherry-like. It has bright red pomes that grow in dense clusters.

They are not big like cherries but small like sour cherries if you are curious about the size. During the growing time, its flowers bloom 5-petaled flowers. Often, this appearance reminds the people of apple or cherry blossoms when seen in the garden. 

The Cockspur

Cockspur grows until 35 feet tall, but even though it sounds like an average tree, its branches make it look bigger than it seems. It can be seen in the parks and private gardens. It grows in moist, well-drained soils. This tree’s time span is long and grows in all seasons.

Although it grows in all seasons, it loses its leaves during the fall. The distinctive part of it is the leaves of it do not have lobes. Its flowers bloom white, although the leaves are reddish in the fall. Cockspur has long, sharp thorns whose size is 4″. 

Bird on Hawthown Tree Stem

Thornless Cockspur

This tree is distinctive by its thornless leaves, as you can understand by the name. You can plant it wherever you like since it does not damage anyone. Moreover, you can shape it however you like it. In this way, it can be more decorative for you. It grows between 25-40 feet tall in the full sun. It contains white flower clusters and red berries like other Hawthorns.

The Chinese Hawthorn

Chinese hawthorns grow between 15 to 23 feet tall. This tree does not need that much maintenance. The significant part of this tree is big red, edible, pear-like fruits. This is one of the biggest Hawthorn fruits. In Chinese, it is called “big red fruit” due to the shape of the fruit. 

The Black Hawthorn

This one is unique and distinctive in its fruit color. It takes after its name by the fruit’s color, dark purple, almost black. It has a rounded crown of expanding branches. Although it sounds like a big tree, it grows between 10-25 feet tall. In fall, its leaves change color from orange and yellow to red. Due to its fruticose growth, people may choose it as a hedge plant.

Older Hawthorn Tree

How to Plant Hawthorn Trees?

If you want to grow your tree and add a unique experience to your gardening history, I will explain how to plant Hawthorn in your backyard or private field. You may have questions like, “When should I plant it?” “How can I plant it properly?” “How can I accurately prepare the solid?”.

Don’t worry; all these questions running in your head will be answered at the end of this section. Maybe as a beginner, it can be hard for you to plant Hawthorn, but everyone has to experience how to plant it. So be ready to get your hands dirty! 

This type of planting requires a lot of attention and time first. Where to plant it is one of the important parts of planting. Recommended places are courtyard gardens, natural and wildlife gardens, cottages, and informal gardens.

The period in these trees is wide and varied, but the best planting season is between November and March if it is bare. Since it has a strength to wildlife, winter will not be a challenge to it. If it has containers, it does not become important when it is planted. 

White Hawthorn Tree Blossoms

Although they are huge trees, you do not need that kind of deep hole as you imagined. 2×2 feet and 12 inches deep would be enough for it. After digging a hole:

  1. Make sure it has a space for organic matters (invaluable matters to feed the soil).
  2. Do not forget to check if there are odd bits like rocks, bricks, etc.
  3. Ensure that it is built in the bottom perfectly and that when you plant the roots, everything is sufficient for it.
  4. Please make sure the roots are dug and regulate the planting depth, be aware that it is the same as the original growing depth.
  5. Be conscious that the top of the roots is level with the soil’s surface. 

Against the wild during the winds, you may stake hard tree branches beside it. After everything is done, you can close the soil over the roots. Then, you can mix the soil with your hand so that way because you are using your hand, you can relax the soil. Later, all you need to do is water it regularly so the soil will not be dehydrated on the hot summer days. 

Hawthorn Tree in Autumn

How to Grow the Hawthorn?

Everything is not over after you plant it. The essential part of Hawthorn is how to grow it properly. The growing part takes time. You will see how it blooms when you plant it in the garden.

This is the most exciting part because you can see how it changes over time. Sometimes the buds of blooms can be sensitive, and you do not want to harm the buds since they are the essence of it. During the growing period, do not forget to remove weak seedlings. 

One of the challenges can be mildew during this period. Mildew depends on hygiene. Please do not touch it when wet, and do not water it late in the day. Although you pay attention to these things, your tree got mildew. What will happen after you have it can be a question you ask.

You can quickly take care of it with fungicide. When you treat it with fungicide, please choose organic ones. Organic fungicides will be better for your tree. Hawthorns can grow quickly. At the end of the first year and second year, it will be ready to grow fruits. 

Little Hawthorn tree Fruits

How to Care for the Hawthorns in Your Garden?

Yes, it can be low maintenance, but still, it needs a lot of caring since it has fruits. After regularly watering it, you must check if it is hydrated enough during summer. Although you plant it in the garden, make sure it is in a safe area.

As I mentioned before, do not forget to remove dead plants. It would be best to pure the weak branches, especially in the late fall and early spring. During that time, you can cut or shape it as you like. I think one of the best parts of growing it; you can shape it as you like it. If you begin to care for your plant in the first years, after years, it will start to be healthier than you expected. 

Hawthorn Is the Best Tree You Can Have in Your Garden

In this article, I informed you of everything you need to know about Hawthorns. As you can see, they have different types, colors, and branches. Although they have different and unique types still, they are the best trees to have in your garden.

You see how a tree develops in years, and Hawthorns are the finest trees to witness that. I hope this article answers all the questions you have in your mind and will be the best guide in your gardening journey. 

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