The fanleaf hawthorn is a shrub found growing from South Carolina to Louisiana. Used to stabalize river banks and help with erosion control, the fanleaf also provides food and shelter for wildlife. The fanleaf hawthorn can grow up to 30 feet high and has thorny branches. The leaves are triangular-shaped and smooth when mature. Fanleaf hawthorn grows best in full sunlight and prefers well-drained soil.
Prune the fanleaf hawthorn in the winter or early spring before the shrub has bloomed. This will stimulate additional growth for the following season.
Remove the top of the fanleaf hawthorn using pruning shears, and cut the terminal bud, which is located on the top of the stem and is the main area of growth. Prune all lateral branches except for the top two to four branches. The goal is to produce one strong and clear shoot leader and to encourage the willow to grow tall.
Prune a broken or weak stem by cutting off the entire branch. Remove all diseases or gnarled branches with pruning shears to avoid any abnormal growth in the future. Stems arising from the roots, or sucker stems, should be removed as soon as they shoot up.
For young fanleaf hawthorns, prune to one main stem, allowing more light to pass through. This will allow more nutrients to the young sapling.