Audubon® Green Hawthorn
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Delayed gratification! Green Hawthorn gives birds a fresh fruit option when little else remains. This fine native ornamental tree ripens its bright red, crabapple-like drupes in early October. They’re not very high in calories, however, and most birds pass them by in favor of fattier, more energy-rich fruits. They hang on the tree all winter, making a pretty picture in your garden. Finally, in January or February, winter-resident birds are hungry enough to take another look. Often, a flock of Cedar Waxwings will come and strip the whole tree, making quite a spectacle. Needed nourishment for them, and great wildlife-watching for you!
May Benefit & Attract: Waxwings, Cardinals
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
Size AA (2-3' tall) container grown
- Hardiness Zone: 4-7
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Recommended by Our Growers
Though it grows happily in just about any soil—moist or dry—Green Hawthorn is found most often near rivers and coastal plains. Its native range stretches from Delaware to Florida and west to Illinois and Texas. This relatively small, horizontally branching tree has a dense, thorny canopy that appeals to tree-nesting birds like Robins, Cardinals, Mockingbirds, Mourning Doves, Cuckoos, and Flycatchers. The loggerhead shrike is another bird that visits Hawthorn… for a macabre reason. This perky little predator likes to impale its victims (grasshoppers, frogs, etc.) on the Hawthorn’s long thorns for eating later!
Green Hawthorn is a tough, drought-resistant, cold-hardy tree. Its only persistent problem is its tendency to lose leaves in late summer due to a common leaf disease. This actually isn’t a bad thing, though, because by then the fruits are beginning to ripen, and the leaves just get in the way of the show!
How to Grow
Green Hawthorn doesn’t need to be pampered and will make do with any planting site as long as it’s in full sun and has well-drained soil. This country hedgerow tree even does well in the heart of the city. Do protect the trunk from damage, as the pretty, silvery bark is thin, and string trimmers can wreak havoc. Green Hawthorn rarely needs pruning, which is a good thing—there’s a reason it’s called a Haw-THORN! If you do need to prune, do so shortly after the tree blooms and proceed carefully.
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