Hawthorn origin

The hawthorn (Crataegus) is a genus of plants and belongs to the rose family. There are over 200 species that are native to Europe, North Africa and Asia. They reach a height of between 2 and 10 m and an age of up to about 100 years. The hawthorn is considered to be very long-lived and robust and grows in many different soils and climates. It is particularly common in forests and on the edges of forests as well as in parks and gardens. The hawthorn flowers appear in the months of May and June in white and pink colors and are very attractive to insects and birds.
The hawthorn has smooth, oval leaves that are about 5 to 10 cm long. The upper side of the leaves is shiny and dark green, while the underside is a little duller and lighter. The leaves have a serrated or toothed edge and are slightly wavy at the edges. They grow in pairs on the branches. The fruits of the hawthorn plant are small red berries that ripen from August to October. These fruits are edible and are often used in cooking, for example to make jam or liqueur.

Hawthorn leaves

In folklore and traditional medicine, hawthorn has been used for centuries to treat cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure. It is also often used in herbal medicine to strengthen the heart and improve blood circulation. In landscaping, hawthorn is often used as a hedge or as a specimen tree because it is very attractive both for its flowers and its fruit.

Hawthorn care and location

The hawthorn prefers a sunny to partially shaded location with well-drained soil that should be moist, humus-rich and nutrient-rich. It can grow in any type of soil, but prefers fresh, loamy soil. The best time to plant the hawthorn is in autumn or spring.

Pruning hawthorn

Regular pruning is necessary to keep the hawthorn in shape and encourage growth. Training pruning is used to shape the hawthorn's growth in the first few years. This involves removing superfluous shoots and shaping the tree into the desired shape. Rejuvenation pruning is carried out to keep the tree vital and strong. Older shoots are removed and space is made for new shoots. Maintenance pruning is used to remove diseased, damaged or dead shoots, as well as to remove unwanted branches and runners. The hawthorn is best pruned in the winter months or early spring, as the plant is dormant during this time and pruning does not put as much strain on it.

Watering hawthorn

Due to climate change, it is getting hotter in our regions and longer dry periods are the result. This has an impact on the environment and especially on the trees. The increasing dryness and rising temperatures cause stress in trees. Depending on the location and the climate-related situation, more frequent watering may be necessary than in previous years. The freshly planted hawthorn still has to take root and needs a lot of water, but even with fully grown trees, care should be taken to ensure that the soil remains evenly moist. The water requirement of a hawthorn depends on several factors such as the length of the dry period and the condition of the tree. A general estimate of 15 to 20 liters per square meter per watering can be made for young trees and 5 to 7 liters per square meter for older trees. Hawthorns have shallow roots and have many small roots close to the surface. When watering conventionally with a water hose, a lot of water suddenly reaches the ground and a lot of moisture evaporates or flows away before it can reach the roots. With tree bath watering bags watering is more efficient and water is saved. Drip irrigation continuously releases water into the soil, allowing the shallow roots to absorb the water better. Attaching and filling the water bags is simple and straightforward. By filling a watering bag, young trees are provided with sufficient water. In order to water larger trees sufficiently in very dry periods, it is possible to connect two or more watering bags together. A mulch layer of bark compost in the root area is helpful in keeping the moisture in the soil.

Hawthorn fruits

Fertilize hawthorn?

Hawthorn usually does not require additional fertilizationIt is an undemanding plant and can thrive in most soils. However, if the soil is particularly poor in nutrients, it is advisable to add organic fertilizer such as horn shavings or compost in the spring. The fertilizer is applied to the soil and lightly worked in. To avoid over-fertilization, an analysis of the nutrient content of the soil is recommended beforehand.

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