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Crataegus pinnatifida (Chinese Hawthorn)

Chinese Hawberry, Chinese Hawthorn, Hawthorn, Hawthorne, Mountain Hawthorn, Thornapple

Chinese Hawthorn, Crataegus pinnatifida

Crataegus pinnatifida, known as Chinese Hawthorn, offers an attractive display of flowers, fruits, and foliage, marking it as a significant ornamental and functional plant in various landscapes.

Crataegus pinnatifida: An In-depth Look

Native: This species is native to northeastern Asia, including China, Mongolia, and the Russian Far East. It’s well-adapted to temperate climates and thrives in various environments in its native range.

Plant Type and Habit: This is a small to medium-sized, deciduous tree or shrub, typically forming a rounded shape with a dense branching habit.

Size: Mature trees can reach heights of 15 to 25 feet (4.5 to 7.5 meters) with a 10 to 25 feet (3 to 7.5 meters) spread, offering a balanced and dense canopy.

Flowers: The white flowers, around 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter, bloom in clusters in late spring, providing a striking contrast against the dark green leaves. When freshly open, they exude a pleasant scent but become unpleasantly scented with age.

Fruits: Resembling miniature apples, the bright red fruits, 1.5 inches in diameter( 4 cm), mature in late summer to early autumn and persist into winter. They are edible, with a sweet-tart flavor, and are often used in jams, jellies, and traditional medicines.

Foliage: The oval to wedge-shaped leaves, 2-4 inches long (5-10 cm), provide a vibrant green backdrop in summer, changing to stunning red and burgundy hues in autumn.

Bark: The bark is thin and gray and breaks into narrow scales with age, adding winter interest. Like many hawthorns, the Chinese Hawthorn has sharp thorns. They vary in length but are typically several inches long and can pose a hazard during pruning or if the tree is located in an area frequented by people or pets.

Hardiness: Crataegus pinnatifida is hardy to USDA zones 5-9, showing substantial resilience to cold winters.

Uses: It’s widely used for ornamental, culinary, and medicinal purposes. The fruits are a common ingredient in Chinese cuisine and traditional medicine. Its dense, thorny structure makes it a good choice for defensive hedges.

Wildlife: The fruits attract birds and small mammals, while the flowers are a food source for pollinators like bees and butterflies.

Deer and Rabbits: The tree’s thorns and dense branching can deter deer and rabbits, making it a resilient choice in areas with these animals.

Drought: Once established, the Chinese Hawthorn has moderate drought tolerance.

Toxicity: There are no significant toxicity concerns for humans.

Benefits: Beyond its ornamental value, it offers ecological benefits by providing food for wildlife. Its fruits have nutritional and medicinal properties, containing antioxidants, vitamins, and other health-promoting compounds.
Key facts: One key fact is the tree’s role in traditional Chinese medicine, where the fruits, known as “Shan Zha,” are used to help digestion and improve blood circulation.

How to Grow and Care for Chinese Hawthorn

Light: Full sun to partial shade; thrives with more sunlight.

Soil: Prefers well-drained soil; tolerates a range of soils from clay to sandy and acidic to slightly alkaline.

Water: Regular watering during the first growing season; moderate after that. Drought tolerant once established.

Fertilizer: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring.

Pruning: Prune in late winter or early spring during dormancy; remove dead, diseased, or overcrowded branches and shape as desired.

Propagation: Can be propagated by seeds, softwood cuttings in summer, or hardwood cuttings in late fall. Stratification improves seed germination rates.

Pests and Diseases: Hawthorns are susceptible to cedar-hawthorn rust, quince rust, and fire blight. Other potential diseases include apple scab, leaf spot, and powdery mildew. Potential insect pests include aphids, borers, leaf miners, lace bugs, spider mites, and scales.

Hawthorn: How to Grow and Care with Success


Understanding how to grow and care for Hawthorn is crucial as these trees offer ecological benefits like attracting pollinators, providing wildlife habitats, and medicinal properties for humans. Proper knowledge ensures healthy growth, disease prevention, and the thriving of these striking additions to our landscapes.

Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 9
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Rosaceae
Genus Crataegus
Common names Hawthorn
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Summer (Early)
Fall
Height 15' - 25'
(4.6m - 7.6m)
Spread 10' - 25'
(3m - 7.6m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Loam, Clay, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Bees, Butterflies, Birds
Garden Uses Hedges And Screens, Ponds And Streams, Rain Gardens, Water Gardens
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Crataegus coccinea (Scarlet Hawthorn)
Crataegus punctata (Dotted Hawthorn)
Crataegus marshallii (Parsley Hawthorn)
Crataegus mollis (Downy Hawthorn)
Crataegus douglasii (Black Hawthorn)
Crataegus persimilis ‘Prunifolia’ (Cockspur Hawthorn)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

Crataegus (Hawthorn) – What Is Wrong With My Tree?
Crataegus (Hawthorn): Pests and Diseases to Watch Out For
Hawthorn: How to Grow and Care with Success
Crataegus (Hawthorn)
For the Love of Bees: Best Flowers to Attract them to Your Garden
May Birth Flower: What is my Birth Flower?
Native Plant Alternatives to Crataegus monogyna (Common Hawthorn)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 9
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Rosaceae
Genus Crataegus
Common names Hawthorn
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Summer (Early)
Fall
Height 15' - 25'
(4.6m - 7.6m)
Spread 10' - 25'
(3m - 7.6m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Loam, Clay, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Bees, Butterflies, Birds
Garden Uses Hedges And Screens, Ponds And Streams, Rain Gardens, Water Gardens
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Not sure which Crataegus (Hawthorn) to pick?
Compare Now

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