Thornless Cockspur Hawthorn Tree
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Thornless Cockspur Hawthorn Tree
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Growth Facts

Thornless Cockspur Hawthorn

Crataegus crus-galli inermis

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A low-branching, wide-spreading habit gives this handsome native tree a distinctive look. Thornless Cockspur Hawthorn makes a flat-topped specimen in time, providing a nice contrast to more upright trees in your landscape. The branches look especially dramatic in winter when outlined with snow and draped with dark red fruit. Birds ignore the crabapple-like pomes until they get really hungry, and then they are happy for the nourishment. Cedar waxwings and fox sparrows are the most likely visitors; in rural areas, ruffed grouse may show up to dine on the fruits.

Growth Facts

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The Story

Cockspur Hawthorn is an adaptable, wide-ranging species found throughout much of the eastern U.S., from Maine to Texas to Florida. It has long been cultivated as a hedge plant; its twiggy growth and long spines can form an impenetrable barrier. Some birds, such as robins, cardinals, mockingbirds, mourning doves, cuckoos, and flycatchers, love the dense canopy for the protection it provides them from other animals and will nest there. This naturally thornless version is a nice, friendly alternative to the original. It is still a pretty tree that’s a great resource for wildlife, but it’s a lot easier to prune!

The Details

In late spring, Thornless Cockspur Hawthorn’s snowy white flowers paint a pretty picture. They are loved by bees and other pollinators. In fall, the glossy, dark green leaves may turn orange or red before falling.

How to Grow

Thornless Cockspur 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. Thornless Cockspur Hawthorn rarely needs pruning. If you do need to prune, do so shortly after the tree is done blooming.

Size Guide

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Thornless Cockspur Hawthorn Tree