Hawthorn Is The King Of Ornamental Shrubs. Types, Varieties. Care, Cultivation, Reproduction. Photo

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Hawthorn Is The King Of Ornamental Shrubs. Types, Varieties. Care, Cultivation, Reproduction. Photo
Hawthorn Is The King Of Ornamental Shrubs. Types, Varieties. Care, Cultivation, Reproduction. Photo

Video: Hawthorn Is The King Of Ornamental Shrubs. Types, Varieties. Care, Cultivation, Reproduction. Photo

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Video: Hawthorn Tree Facts 2023, February

In Europe and especially in England, hawthorn hedges are absolute favorites. A shrub with a uniquely dense crown, and really is the best way to create green fences. But hawthorns also have other advantages. Romantic and spectacular blooms and beautiful fruits will decorate any garden. And the endurance and unpretentiousness of hawthorns still have no equal.

Common hawthorn, or prickly hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata)
Common hawthorn, or prickly hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata)


  • Hawthorn is a familiar plant that never goes out of style
  • Types and varieties of hawthorns
  • The use of hawthorns in ornamental gardening
  • Conditions necessary for hawthorns
  • Planting hawthorn
  • Hawthorn care
  • Pruning and shaping hawthorn
  • Wintering hawthorns
  • Reproduction of hawthorns

Hawthorn is a familiar plant that never goes out of style

Hawthorn is a large garden shrub, which is considered quite common and typical among us. But there is nothing wrong with the fact that the appearance of hawthorns is familiar to everyone and has been used for centuries. After all, it is difficult to find a more reliable candidate for the role of garden decoration, as well as the best plant for creating background and dense plantings.

The scientific name for hawthorn - Crataegus directly reflects the hardness of its wood (from "krataios" - "strong"). Even hawthorn thorns are so strong that they can pierce almost any shoe, and in the old days they were used instead of nails. Due to the most noticeable, species-determining and unique part of this plant in Europe, hawthorn is simply called a thorn.

Representatives of the genus Crataegus are deciduous and semi-evergreen shrubs, less often trees with a dense crown. Despite the fact that hawthorns are more often sheared, giving them more compact silhouettes or walls, they remain neat and strict even without formation. In nature, the maximum height of the bushes is not limited to 5-7 m, but in the garden, hawthorns are bushes of an average 2 - 3 meter height with rare exceptions. Hawthorn is able to surprise with a neat and beautiful crown of a rounded or conical shape, by nature quite dense.

Shoots are purple-red, very beautiful, varying degrees of thorniness. The graceful leaves of the hawthorn can be either whole or lobed, they flaunt with a dark green color in summer, but they prepared the main show for the fall, when the usual outfit is replaced by an orange-red fire.

The thorns in hawthorns are modified shoots, at the beginning of development they are small and with tiny leaves, after the loss of which the thorns change their green color and become more and more durable. In North American species, thorns grow up to 5-9 cm, in rare cases even up to 12 cm, in most European hawthorns they are absent or do not exceed 2 - 3 cm.The unusually sharp and large thorns of hawthorn not only complicate the work with the plant, but also require special care when moving near bushes: any footwear for hawthorn thorns is not an obstacle.

The flowering period of hawthorns usually occurs in May and June. White or pink flowers are collected in scutes inflorescences. Despite the fact that the flowers are medium-sized, up to 3 cm in diameter, they sit in dense shields and the shrub seems to be much more lush.

Among the hawthorns, there are varieties with double flowers. For all hawthorns, without exception, beautiful stamens and anthers are characteristic. The hawthorn blooms profusely and very effectively, before the leaves bloom, but the aroma of the inflorescences is rather unpleasant and repulsive.

After flowering, hawthorns do not always tie not only beautiful, but also edible fruits annually, which stay on the branches for more than 2 months. Large, round, pear-shaped or elongated berries in hawthorns are traditionally associated with an orange-red color, but different types of berries can be purple, black, and yellow. Fruits contain up to 5 triangular hard seeds, and they are located at the top of the fruit. The size of the fruits ranges from a few millimeters to almost 3 cm. Hawthorns bear fruit from the age of 8-10 years.

Common hawthorn flowers
Common hawthorn flowers

Types and varieties of hawthorns

In nature, hawthorns are very widely represented. The genus Crataegus includes more than a thousand shrub species found only in the northern hemisphere, within zones with a temperate and partly subtropical climate. Among the hawthorns, there are both radically different plants from each other and strikingly similar and difficult to distinguish species.

To facilitate recognition in landscape design, it is customary to separate the Eurasian and North American hawthorns. The former are characterized by deeply lobed leaves and small or absent spines. In North American hawthorns, leaves are whole or weakly lobed. These are shrubs with very large and strong thorns. North American species are now considered more decorative and promising.

The most widespread species of hawthorns is still common hawthorn, or prickly hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata). Resistant to wind and gas pollution, affordable and widespread, it is one of the most versatile garden shrubs. This hawthorn blooms traditionally in May-June. Leaves with 3-5 lobes are bright and glossy, spiny shoots. The common hawthorn is characterized by a neat oval crown. The flowers are not only white, but also bright pink, different varieties have different bark exfoliation.

This hawthorn today offers a choice between different varieties and interesting forms. For example, the Paul Scarlett cultivar with crimson-pink double flowers is very popular. Ornamental forms are even more common - white-pink Bicolor and red-colored Pauli, golden form with yellow fruits and oaky with leaves decorated with round lobes.

Blooming hawthorn
Blooming hawthorn

Blood-red hawthorn, or bloody hawthorn (Crataegus sanguinea) is a spectacular hawthorn with a very beautiful flowering. Its spines are large, up to 4 cm, but they are very rarely located. The flowers are white with purple anthers. Fruits are blood-red globular berries drooping on thin stalks. No less than flowering and fruits, this shrub is decorated with brown bark, and few straight thorns, and bright leaves adorned with shallow lobes.

Hawthorn softish, or semi-soft hawthorn (Crataegus submollis) - one of the best species in North America. Orange fruits with very tasty pulp are a nice bonus for those who choose this species for growing in their garden. The thorns of the plant are very thin, densely scattering branches, the crown is almost perfectly round in silhouette, amazingly dense. The leaves are bright and solid, repainted in the fall in dazzling red.

One of the most popular types of hawthorn is the one-footed hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna). This is a large classical species from 2 m in height, with a very dense crown and easily tolerates strong formation. Shoots are densely packed. The bush blooms profusely in May and June. The flowers of this hawthorn are white-pinkish, pink anthers on the stamens give the plant an unusual charm. The fruits are light red and are considered a valuable medicinal raw material. The single-footed hawthorn has many decorative forms - pyramidal pink, white terry, white and variegated, thornless, red terry, continuously blooming, crimson, weeping, split-leaved, etc., as well as a number of hybrid varieties.

Blood red hawthorn (Crataegus sanguinea)
Blood red hawthorn (Crataegus sanguinea)
Hawthorn softish (Crataegus submollis)
Hawthorn softish (Crataegus submollis)
Common hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)
Common hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)

Green-meat hawthorn (Crataegus chlorosarca) can compete with a semi-soft crown density and density. This is a very beautiful plant with short spines, snow-white flowers and almost black tasty fruits. Gray bark and purple shoots, ovoid leaves with shallow lobes, and dense inflorescence shields with dark anthers make this plant stand out from any other hawthorn. It is a highly decorative species with atypical gray-black colors, which is always eye-catching.

Daurian hawthorn (Crataegus dahurica) is a very decorative species with graceful medium-sized leaves and a compact crown size. Most often it develops in the form of a short tree with gray bark, reddish shoots with medium-sized thorns and lanceolate-diamond-shaped, deeply lobed leaves, creating an elegant crown. White flowers with purple anthers look very delicate. Centimeter spherical fruits of a bright red color appear already from the age of six.

Versatile in its decorativeness, suitable for solo parties, and for hedges, the original pinnate hawthorn (Crataegus pinnatifida). This is a spectacular spreading shrub with dark gray bark, very sparse thorns and medium-sized pinnately dissected leaves with a bright color. The fruits of the plant are decorated with warts, the bush itself looks unusually picturesque and elegant.

Leaves and berries of pinnate hawthorn
Leaves and berries of pinnate hawthorn

The largest spines are the large- anthered hawthorn, or the large- anthered hawthorn (Crataegus macracantha), which makes it an ideal candidate for creating impassable hedges. Spines up to 12 cm long and a very dense crown are combined with light bark, shallow-lobed dark leaves, which are famous for their yellow-red autumn dress and the ability to last longer than other species. Bright large fruits glow against the background of foliage, they are somewhat dry and less tasty, but very effective in appearance.

The Lavalieri hawthorn (Crataegus x lavalleei) is also very popular today, in particular, its most popular variety "Carrierei", which is even called a separate variety in catalogs - the Carrieri hawthorn. White-pink May bloom and bright orange-scarlet fruits look extremely impressive.

Among the controversial hybrids is the very popular Morden hawthorn (Crataegus x mordenensis) - a shrub with double flowers that change a bright pink color to white, and has thornless shoots. This hybrid does not bear fruit, but is considered a flowering variety.

Blooming hawthorn morden
Blooming hawthorn morden

Of the very large hawthorn species, you should pay attention to the following:

  • hawthorn Wattiana (Crataegus wattiana) - a luxurious shrub or tree up to 6-8 m high with a few thorns, bluish foliage and complex shields of white inflorescences, surprising with yellow balls of fruit;
  • fan-shaped hawthorn (Crataegus flabellata) - a species with upright shoots, large curved spines, ovoid, fan-shaped leaf lobes with a serrated edge, snow-white flowers and bright red fruits;
  • Douglas hawthorn (Crataegus douglasii) - a species with beautiful dark bark, without thorns, with irregularly lobed dark leaves, white inflorescence shields and purple-black fruits up to 1 cm in diameter, captivating with its shade tolerance;
  • hawthorn Maximovich (Crataegus maximowiczii) with gray-brown branches, without thorns, with ovoid leaves and large red fruits.

In the southern regions, it is worth paying attention to a species not winter-hardy for the middle lane with original foliage - pear hawthorn (Crataegus phaenopyrum) - a species with original viburnum-like leaves, straight five-centimeter spines and red fruits, the diameter of which is slightly more than 0.5 cm.

The use of hawthorns in ornamental gardening

It is not in vain that hawthorns have won a reputation for versatile garden shrubs. They are suitable for landscaping both large and medium or small areas. Their bushes never look too bulky or, on the contrary, inconspicuous.

Hawthorns are used as

  • berry bush, plants with bright attractive fruits;
  • deciduous shrub with a spectacular autumn crown,
  • flowering plant.

Hawthorns are equally good both as separate growing plants and in groups of very different sizes and densities. Plants are grown as shrubs, in tree and standard form.

In the design of gardens, hawthorns are used

  • in impenetrable landscape or strict hedges;
  • in the undergrowth and forest edge;
  • in the alleys,
  • as a background shrub;
  • in groups with evergreen and landscape views;
  • for curly haircuts and accents and the introduction of strict soloists;
  • in the background of large beds and flower beds;
  • for wind protection, camouflage and screen creation.

Hawthorns attract honey insects to the garden, filling it with the cheerful buzzing of bees. And birds are very fond of this shrub: they feast on not only the fruits of the plant, but also happily use it to reliably shelter their nests.

Hawthorn is a valuable berry bush. The fruits of the plant are edible in all species, but usually only large, tasty and fleshy fruits of only a few species are considered as healing and nutritious. Berries not only decorate the garden, but are also used in cooking. They are harvested as they ripen, from August, but the most delicious harvest can be obtained after the first frost.

Hawthorn hedge
Hawthorn hedge

Conditions necessary for hawthorns

The reputation of an unpretentious shrub, the cultivation of which is within the power of even beginner growers, in hawthorn has been proven by centuries of practice in decorating gardens in various climatic zones. Hawthorns surprise with their undemandingness and resistance to adverse conditions and polluted environment.

It is important for hawthorns to provide adequate lighting: shading negatively affects both flowering and fruiting of the plant. If the hawthorn is grown not for the sake of fruit, but mainly for the sake of a dense crown (especially if it is planted to create dense hedges), then the plants can be considered shade-tolerant.

For hawthorns, you need to choose a well-worked and loose soil. This shrub feels good both in loam and sandy loam, is not afraid of the polluted environment of urban conditions, it perfectly tolerates gas pollution. Fertile fresh or moist soils are best suited for hawthorns, but in general, the plant takes root in almost any conditions, with the exception of extreme ones. The reaction of the soil is preferable to alkaline; hawthorn does not like acidic soils.

Planting hawthorn

Hawthorns, even in regions with severe winters, can be planted both in the spring, as soon as the soil warms up, and in the fall, at least a month and a half before the arrival of stable frosts. Hawthorns are recommended to be planted in a permanent place at the age of two, because older plants take root less well, and one-year-old seedlings need more careful care.

Hawthorns are placed at a distance of 1 to 2 m for decorative groups and 15 to 50 cm for hedges. Single growing bushes can be placed at a distance of 3 m to neighboring crops, but usually this distance is left only when growing tree-like hawthorns, which are used as tall tapeworms in large gardens.

Planting holes must be prepared in advance. For this shrub, large planting pits are prepared with a depth and width of about 70 cm. It is better to replace the excavated soil with a special substrate by mixing humus and leafy soil with sand, peat and compost and increasing the alkaline reaction by adding lime. At the bottom of the planting pits, it is better to lay a drainage layer of rubble or brick chips. Before planting, the landing pits are saturated with water.

Pruning on seedlings is done only if the plants are used for hedges. It is carried out in the same way for ordinary hawthorns, and when tall or tree-like hawthorns are used, which eventually lose their bushy shape and do not release a large number of shoots. Such plants are planted "on a stump" to stimulate thickening of the crown: they are cut to a height of 10-15 cm, stimulating the growth of strong skeletal shoots.

Hawthorns are planted according to the standard method. Plants are installed so that the root collar after shrinkage of the soil remains at the same level with the soil. Planting is completed with abundant watering and mulching of the soil.

Common hawthorn, grown in a short tree
Common hawthorn, grown in a short tree

Hawthorn care

The need for watering shrubs is directly determined by the type of plant. Moisture-loving species and varieties must be watered regularly to ensure stable soil moisture. Watering for capricious plants is rarely carried out, but systemically. Enough 1 watering once a month with deep soil saturation, but twice as frequent water procedures in summer. Drought-resistant hawthorns do not need watering. But several such procedures at the budding stage and after flowering will help the plants to produce a more bountiful harvest.

Hawthorns are content with minimal feeding. For these shrubs, it is enough to carry out one top dressing in early spring to provide the plant with all the necessary nutrients. For hawthorn, complete mineral fertilizers are used in the amount of 100-120 g for each square meter of planting. In early summer, the plant can be additionally fed with any organic fertilizers. If the hawthorn is grown for the sake of the most abundant harvest, then it is better to carry out three dressings - with full mineral fertilizers in the spring, potassium-phosphorus - at the beginning of flowering and after the beginning of fruiting.

Hawthorns do not like compacted soils, so it is better to introduce regular loosening of the soil into the bush care program. It is usually combined with weeding, during the season, light loosening to a shallow depth (up to 10 cm). High-quality aeration or digging of soil on a shovel bayonet is carried out along the perimeter of the trunk circle once a year - in early spring or autumn. Mulching will help to simplify the care of the plant. For hawthorns, it is not necessary to use a special mulch: even simple soil or peat with a layer of 3-4 cm is suitable.

Despite the status of a resistant plant, hawthorns can be significantly affected by specific and fruit pests, powdery mildew and rust. On hawthorns, fruit sawflies, mites, scale insects, mealybugs, weevils and other pests of apple, maple and cherry trees are often found. Rust or powdery mildew, various types of spotting are fought with highly specialized fungicides. For pests, it is better to carry out preventive treatments with insecticides simultaneously with fruit plants.

Pruning and shaping hawthorn

This shrub perfectly tolerates any form and is considered one of the most "dense" shrubs for any hedges - both landscape and strict. The ability for enhanced shoot formation allows you to change the shape and control the size of the hawthorns as you like.

There is only one obligatory pruning for hawthorns - sanitary cleaning. In the spring, damaged, dry, unproductive shoots are removed from the plant, like any other shrub.

The formation is carried out depending on the desired shape and contours: to create a strict silhouette, and for a hedge, shoots can be cut to 1/3 of their length. In the hedges, the initial shaping is carried out: the next year after planting, the shoots stimulated by strong pruning are removed, leaving the two strongest ones. In the future, the shoots are intertwined and cut to the desired shape.

Young hawthorn seedlings for planting hedges
Young hawthorn seedlings for planting hedges

Wintering hawthorns

Most species of hawthorns are hardy plants that do not need protection for the winter. It is advisable to provide decorative varieties and forms of any hawthorn with a light shelter for the winter, protecting the roots that are prone to bulging and high located. A high mulching layer of dry leaves up to 10 cm high is suitable as a protective layer. Species hawthorns, with the exception of low-hardy southern species, will not need shelter. In thorny hawthorn, flower buds and shoots are often frozen over, but the plant recovers well.

Reproduction of hawthorns

The availability of planting material, low prices for hawthorn seedlings are largely due to the ease of their reproduction. The more striking characteristics the variety has, the larger the flowers and berries it forms, the more expensive the cost of planting material. Independent reproduction of hawthorn requires patience, because the plants bear fruit only after the age of eight, but it is not too complicated in its methods.

The easiest ways to get a new generation of hawthorns are vegetative. In hawthorns, layers take root well. It is enough to huddle the base of the bushes or fix individual branches in the soil and regularly water the plants to accelerate rooting, and the next year you can plant independent plants.

Other methods are also used for reproduction

  • separation of root suckers;
  • rooting of root cuttings (a root about 2 cm thick is divided into fragments about 10 cm long and rooted like ordinary cuttings - deepening 7-8 cm into the soil and maintaining high humidity with a cover-cap);
  • grafting of varietal plants and ornamental forms on rootstocks of hardy hawthorns (for example, common, prickly and monopathic).

Growing from seeds is not difficult, but the process of growing plants is very long. Plant shoots will have to wait up to 2 years, and the period of stratification for hawthorns of different species ranges from 6 to 12 months. Many seeds of a plant are empty, the germination percentage is quite low, about 50%. Hawthorn is sown before winter, and for sowing freshly harvested seeds of unripe fruits are used, in which the shell around the seeds has not yet completely hardened. The fruits are soaked in water for several days, and then rubbed through a sieve and washed the seeds from the pulp residues. Seeds are etched during the day in a solution of a growth stimulator or potassium nitrate of one percent concentration.

Sowing seeds is carried out before winter in large boxes or greenhouses. The seeds of the plant are sown very densely. The crops are covered with soil and a layer of dry leaves. In spring, shoots of hawthorn are almost indistinguishable from shoots of apple trees, they are very small. During the first year, plants grow slowly, reaching a height of only 10 cm only with constant care. For growing on the beds, they are transplanted the next year. In addition to watering and other care, they begin to carry out the formation, cutting off all shoots that have reached a height of 50-60 cm to the level of the second or third bud from the bottom in order to stimulate the growth of lateral branches. During the entire growing period, the plants are controlled by shortening the main ones and leaving only 2 lateral shoots each, removing excess growth and forming the base of the bush from strong branches.

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