Sometimes referred to as the 'May tree' so named after the month which it blooms, hawthorn is a very valuable native tree which can support lots of our wildlife.
It is the foodplant for caterpillars of moths, the flowers are eaten by dormice as well as providing nectar and pollen for pollinating insects. The fruits known as haws are eaten by migrating birds as well as small mammals and the dense, thorny foliage makes safe nesting sites for many species of bird.
Hawthorn are deciduous trees that have pale green, lobed leaves on spiky branches that bear fragrant white flowers in late spring, followed by glossy dark red fruit.
Where to site your Crataegus
While most hawthorns are used as hedging plants, if you are wanting to keep one as a standalone tree then it is best placed at the back of the garden where it can have some room to grow (some varieties can ultimately reach 15m) they work great as a shield from prying neighbours.
How to grow and look after your Crataegus
Hawthorn will grow in most soils, but ideally plant in moist but well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade but for best flowers and fruit production, plant in a location with full sun.