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Hawthorn trees

Posted by Peter Drevniok 
Hawthorn trees
September 15, 2015 11:41PM

I am starting to clear Hawthorn trees / shrubs from the orchard vicinity. There is about 30 - 40 within 150 yards and I plan to remove them all
(if my arms are not full of holes by then). However, there is one quite old specimen that looks like a tree more than a shrub and is quite
spectacular when loaded with blooms and now with fruit. It is about 100 yards from the orchard. Do I keep it or must it be banished?

Sincerely, Peter Drevniok,
Maxwell Mountain Farms
Wakefield, Qc zone 5
Re: Hawthorn trees
September 16, 2015 01:11AM
Hi Peter,

I have previously gone on record as one of the HON members in favor or "banishing" the nearby varieties of trees and shrubs that are hosts for various pathogens, fireblight being paramount in this stance and consideration. Wild Hawthorn is a guaranteed FB magnet (and canker base camp) in my specific area of the Sierra Foothills in California.

That said, I know of a nearby orchard that has an estimated 75+ year old hawthorn tree that is 25ft tall and stunning in bloom (though the smell of the flowers leave a little to be desired, in my opinion). They would like to keep it, and I don't blame them, and they have begun spraying it as a matter of routine with copper as part of their late dormant ritual. . . I mention this because they too wished to not simply cut it down as a precautionary measure against potential future infections and they have opted for the "dropping the piano" approach vs a more tuned and connected holistic strategy.

If the tree is in a reasonable reach/distance of your holistic orchard spray equipment, why not add it to the mix and share some 'biological love' with that special hawthorn too. By tending to that tree the way you would your prized apples, you will help to strengthen it's own inherent ability to withstand periodic FB attacks as well as other bad guys (rust, scab, aphids and scale) that may use that tree as a path to your larger apple plantings.

Good luck Peter and careful of those thorns!

Gopher Hill Apples
Zone 8 in California
Re: Hawthorn trees
October 01, 2015 11:24PM
The Arnold Arboretum in Boston has an area called Peter's Hill, where you can find its crabapple and hawthorne collection. Mostly the crabs are on one side and the hawthorns are on the other but not completely. They're intermixed. These are old, established trees, with minimal spraying if any; you see curculio damage on the crabs and there was a nasty scab blight this past spring but I am mentioning this to make the point that these are not manicured trees. They are scarcely pruned and largely left to their own devices. I recognize crabapple trees are not the same as apple trees, but these are healthy trees. I may be wrong, but it looks like having hawthorn near apples does no harm.
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