May Hawthorn (Aestivalis) is generally described as
a perennial tree or shrub.
native to the U.S. (United States)
has its most active growth period in the
spring and summer .
May Hawthorn (Aestivalis) has
dark green foliage and
white flowers, with
a moderate amount of
conspicuous red fruits or seeds.
The greatest bloom is usually observed in the
with fruit and seed production starting in the
spring and continuing until
not retained year to year.
May Hawthorn (Aestivalis) has a
moderate life span relative to most other plant species and a
slow growth rate.
At maturity, the typical
May Hawthorn (Aestivalis) will reach up to
26 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of
May Hawthorn (Aestivalis) is easily found in nurseries, garden stores and other plant dealers and distributors. It can be propagated by
bare root, container, seed.
It has a
moderate ability to spread through seed production and the seedlings have
Note that cold stratification is
not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below
low tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.
Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.
Erosion Control: Because it tolerates a wide variety of sites, it can be planted to stabilize banks, for shelterbelts, and from wind and water erosion.
Timber: Although the wood is hard and strong, it has no commercial value except for tool handles and other small items. Fruits are often gathered for jellies.
Wildlife: It provides excellent cover and nesting sites for many smaller birds. Birds, rodents, and other smaller mammals eat the small fruits. White tailed deer browse the young twigs and leaves.
Beautification/landscape: It is used in beautification project around homes, city streets, and office buildings. It is excellent for environmental plantings, including small specimen tree and shrub borders.
General: It is a spiny tree that grows to forty feet high and fifteen inches DBH. Leaves are narrow, broadest above or near the middle, dark green and shiny, serrated, seldom lobed and smooth. Flowers are white, produced singly or in two or three flowered clusters. Fruits are broadest above the middle or rounded, and red in color.
Required Growing Conditions
May hawthorn grows on the outer coastal plain from North Carolina to Mississippi. For current distribution, please consult the plant profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.
Adaptation Although it will succeed in partial shade and different soil types, it grows best in full sunlight, well-drained loamy soils. May hawthorn will tolerate wet soils becoming drought tolerant once established. It is wind tolerant making it a good tree species in shelterbelt planting. It is also tolerant of atmospheric pollution and performs well in urban settings. It is commonly found in river swamps, pond areas, and stream banks.
Cultivation and Care
Propagation from Seed or Grafting: May hawthorn can be propagated by either seeds or grafting. Successful propagation using seeds requires acid scarification followed by warm stratification and prechilling. Seeds, whose numbers per pound (lb.) varies with species, are planted early in the fall, in drill rows eight to twelve inches apart and covered with 1/4 inch of soil. Seedlings must not be kept in the nursery longer than a year.
Containerized trees should be planted when they are no more than eight feet tall, in the fall or early spring. Balled and burlapped trees should be planted in early spring.
Grafting on seedling stock of Crataegus oxyacantha or Crataegus monogyna is best carried out in the winter to early spring.
General Upkeep and Control
Pruning should be done in the winter or early spring in order to maintain a clear shoot leader on young trees and/or remove the weakest branches to allow more light to pass through. Suckers or stems arising from the roots should be removed when they become noticeable.
Pest and Potential Problems Although pests and diseases seldom affect Crataegus aestivalis it is susceptible to fire-blight, cedar-hawthorn rust, cedar-quince rust, leaf blight and fruit rot, and leaf spot.
Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database, plants.usda.gov.
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA