Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

Mahaw Planting Instructions

By Katelyn Lynn ; Updated September 21, 2017

Mayhaw (Crataegus aestivalis), also known as May Hawthorn, is a fruit-producing tree that is native to the lower southern United States. It grows to approximately 25 to 30 feet tall and is hardy in the USDA Zones 6 to 11. It is typically grown as a showy ornamental that produces a profuse amount of white blossoms starting in early spring. Mayhaw fruit resembles a crabapple in taste, and a cranberry in appearance. It is frequently used in jams and jellies. Plant a mayhaw tree where it will receive full sun and provide it with well-draining, rich soil.

Use a garden hoe to weed the planting area thoroughly. Make sure you remove all weeds, roots, sticks and rocks.

Dig a planting hole for your mayhaw that is twice the width and twice the depth of its growing container.

Mix the soil you removed from the planting hole with an equal amount of peat moss, rotted manure or compost.

Remove the mayhaw tree from its planting container. If it's growing in a 1-gallon pot, or smaller, turn the mayhaw upside down and tap along the rim of the container using a trowel or a small block of wood. If it is growing in a container larger than a 1-gallon pot, carefully hold the mayhaw by its stem and strike along the rim of the pot using a block of wood or your trowel. Use your fingers to loosen the root system of the mayhaw tree.

Scoop in a few shovelfuls of the soil and organic material mixture into the previously-dug hole. Set the mayhaw tree into the planting hole. The mayhaw tree should be planted in the hole at the same level or just slightly above the level at which it was growing in its pot. Add or remove soil to the hole until you are certain the mayhaw tree is sitting at a good level.

Scoop in the soil and organic material mixture to fill the hole up with soil. Tamp down the soil around the mayhaw tree.

Create a 3- to 4-inch-high circular moat of soil 24 to 36 inches in diameter around the mayhaw tree. Water the mayhaw tree thoroughly, letting the stream of water run slowly so it can reach down to the root system.


Things You Will Need

  • Mayhaw tree
  • Garden hoe
  • Shovel
  • Organic matter (peat moss, rotted manure or compost)
  • Trowel


  • According to Purdue University, mayhaw prefers being grown in soil that is well draining, and slightly acidic.
  • If planting mayhaw trees in a row, space each hole about 15 to 20 feet apart.
  • To ensure your mayhaws will be pollinated, you will need to plant a pair of mayhaw trees.
  • Fertilize your mayhaw tree three times each year. Use a balanced, all purpose fertilizer, such as 12-12-12. Make sure you spread the fertilizer over the entire root area. Follow the directions the fertilizer manufacturer suggests as to how much to spread per square foot, or size of tree.

About the Author


Katelyn Lynn has been writing health and wellness articles since 2007. Her work appears on various websites. Lynn is a certified holistic health practitioner who specializes in orthomolecular medicine and preventative modalities. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in health sciences from TUI University and has extensive experience in botany and horticulture.