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Crataegus punctata (Dotted Hawthorn)

Dotted Hawthorn, White Thorn, Dotted Haw, Crataegus collina, Crataegus collina var. secta, Crataegus collina var. sordida, Crataegus collina var. succincta, Crataegus fastosa, Crataegus punctata var. aurea, Crataegus punctata var. canescens, Crataegus punctata var. microphylla, Crataegus verruculosa

Crataegus punctata, Dotted hawthorn

Crataegus punctata, commonly known as the Dotted Hawthorn or White Thorn, is a deciduous tree characterized by its sturdy, spreading branches, dense crown, and distinctive thorns that can reach up to 3 inches (7 cm) in length. Its name “punctata” stems from the tiny dots visible on the fruit surface.

Crataegus punctata: An In-depth Look

Native: This species is native to Eastern North America, predominantly found from Quebec to the southeastern United States. It’s commonly seen in the wild, particularly in woodland areas and along riverbanks.

Plant Type and Habit: As a deciduous tree, Dotted Hawthorn exhibits horizontal branching and a broad-rounded, almost flat-topped crown. It’s part of the Rosaceae family, which includes roses, apples or serviceberries.

Size: Mature trees typically reach heights of 20 to 30 feet (6 to 9 meters) with a similar spread, creating a balanced, rounded canopy.

Flowers: The tree boasts clusters of attractive white flowers, each featuring five petals, that are unpleasantly scented. These flowers are relatively small but appear in profusion, covering the tree.

Bloom Time: Flowering occurs in late spring, typically in May, following the emergence of the leaves.

Fruits: By late summer to early fall, the flowers give way to round, red fruits known as haws, dotted with small white spots and housing up to five seeds. These haws, while not commercially popular, are edible. They may persist on the tree into winter, but usually drop to the ground in late fall.

Foliage: The leaves of Dotted Hawthorn are glossy, deep green with fine serrations and a variable shape, often with lobes. They turn deep red in the fall, providing additional seasonal interest.

Bark: The bark, initially silvery-gray and fairly smooth, develops into a slightly platy or shaggy texture as the tree matures.

Hardiness: Dotted hawthorn is hardy in USDA zones 4-7, capable of withstanding cold winters once established.

Uses: It’s widely used as an ornamental tree due to its showy flowers and colorful fall foliage. Its compact size makes it suitable for urban and suburban landscapes. The haws are used for making jellies and preserves. Beyond its ornamental appeal, it’s valuable for soil stabilization and as a windbreak. This tree has very long thorns and should be sited carefully.

Wildlife: The fruits serve as a food source for various birds and mammals, enhancing local biodiversity. The dense crown provides shelter and nesting sites. The spring flowers are a nectar source for pollinators like bees, and butterflies.

Deer and Rabbits: While deer might browse on younger trees, mature trees are less susceptible. Rabbits may damage young saplings.

Drought: It exhibits a fair amount of drought resistance once established, but it thrives best with consistent moisture.

Toxicity: There are no significant toxicity concerns for humans, but the seeds inside the haws should not be consumed as they contain cyanide precursors.

How to Grow and Care for Dotted Hawthorn

Light: Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily). Tolerates light shade, but best in full sun.

Soil: Prefers alkaline, well-drained soil. Tolerates clay soil and dry sites.

Water: Moderate water requirements; consistent moisture beneficial, especially in drought conditions.

Fertilizer: Apply a balanced slow-release fertilizer in early spring to promote healthy growth.

Pruning: Prune in late winter or early spring to remove dead, diseased, or crowded branches and maintain shape.

Propagation: Best propagated by seed in the fall, stratified seeds in spring, or summer cuttings.

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 4 - 7
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
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Fall
Height 20' - 30'
(6.1m - 9.1m)
Spread 20' - 30'
(6.1m - 9.1m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Loam, Clay, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Northeast, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Michigan, Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Midwest, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Southeast, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Southwest, Oklahoma
Tolerance Drought, Clay Soil, Dry Soil
Attracts Bees, Butterflies, Birds
Garden Uses Hedges And Screens
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage
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Alternative Plants to Consider

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

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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 4 - 7
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
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Fall
Height 20' - 30'
(6.1m - 9.1m)
Spread 20' - 30'
(6.1m - 9.1m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Loam, Clay, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Northeast, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Michigan, Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Midwest, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Southeast, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Southwest, Oklahoma
Tolerance Drought, Clay Soil, Dry Soil
Attracts Bees, Butterflies, Birds
Garden Uses Hedges And Screens
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Not sure which Crataegus (Hawthorn) to pick?
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