A Technical Report from The Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories
Hawthorns are widely used as specimen trees and shrubs, in mass plantings and as hedges. They are deciduous, small to medium sized trees generally maturing at about 25 feet, however this can vary among species. Leaves are simple, alternate and dark green in summer, but change to yellow or reddish purple with the onset of autumn. Flowers are generally borne in early spring, and fruit, a drupe, persists through fall. Some species have showy fruit and this is one of the most desirable characters of the tree. One prominent feature of most members of the genus Crataegus, is the presence of 1-3 inch long thorns along the stems, although some cultivars have been selected that are thornless. These trees are very adaptable to many soil types, but they do perform best when it is well drained.