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Crataegus - Growing Guide

Crataegus - Growing Guide

Hawthorn

At Caerhays and Burncoose we have started experimenting with growing rare and new species of hardy Crataegus with a view to adding them to our catalogue listings before long. C. ellwangeriana and C. tanacetifolia are showing early promise with good crops of fruit.

Common hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) is obviously featured regularly in our hedgerows, on the edge of cliff and moor land and on the edge of woodland. We sell bare root ‘whips’ to allow you to create your own prickly flowering hedge. Quickthorn or Maytree flowers in April and May (often earlier in Cornwall) and the dark red fruits in autumn are relished by mammals and birds in our hedgerows in autumn. To establish a good hedge it should be planted as a twin or double row 18in apart with each plant also 18’’ apart.

Other species and varieties of hawthorn make beautiful ornamental flowering small trees in their own right.

C. laevigata ‘Crimson Cloud’ has gorgeous bright red flowers with white centres in large clusters right along the old wood of last year’s growth. It is a bit early to tell quite how tall a tree this newish variety will become in maturity but, it would seem, 15-20ft.

C. laevigata ‘Paul’s Scarlet’ is equally impressive with its huge clusters of double dark pink-red flowers. This grows slowly, and with a need for sturdy staking, to a similar height. Anyone who thinks that a hawthorn only has a dull white flower with little ornamental value is in for a shock as these pictures show.

C. persimilis ‘Prunifolia’ is a rounded deciduous tree growing to around 20-25ft. It generates excellent orange and red autumn colour and large spherical bright red fruits from its large corymbs of white flowers.


C. schraderiana, ellwangeriana, combyi & aprica - Video Tip


Plants


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