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Hawthorn / Quickthorn

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Hawthorn / Quickthorn Crataegus monogyna From £0.79

What is Hawthorn Hedging?

Hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna, also known as Quickthorn or Whitethorn, is the most widely used hedge plant in the UK, equally at home as a stock proof farm hedge or in the inner city.
It is the backbone of mixed country hedging and conservation hedging.

Hawthorn has all the virtues you look for in secure hedging: fast growing, incredibly tough, happy in almost any soil, easy to clip, and so dense that even in winter when it is leafless, a well-grown hawthorn hedge is almost impossible to see through.

It produces masses of simple, white blossom in mid-spring. The glossy green foliage looks good all summer, and in autumn it's decked with bunches of bright red haws. 

  • Uses: Country and stockproof hedges from 100cm upwards
  • Good Points: Native, cheap, bomb-proof, almost year-round interest
  • Position: Almost anywhere 
  • Growth: 40-50cm per year

You can also buy larger ornamental Hawthorn trees.

How many Hawthorn hedge plants do I need?

The planting density for your Hawthorn hedge depends on the purpose:

  • For a normal garden boundary hedge, plant at 3 plants per metre (every 33cm) in a single row.
  • A stock-proof country hedge requires 2 staggered single rows (i.e. start one row 16.5cm after the other), with 40cm between rows. That works out at 5 plants per metre in total. 

What size Hawthorn hedge plants should I buy?

  • If you are not in a hurry to get a full sized Hawthorn hedge, we recommend starting with the smallest sizes, either 40/60cm or 60/80 tall.
  • If you are in a hurry and need instant impact, or are filling gaps in an existing hedge, then of course pick the biggest size that fits your budget.

Smaller plants are cheaper, easier to plant, and tend to establish better because they are dug up with most of their roots intact.
You can also clip them attentively and ensure a very bushy plant from the base up.

Buying Hawthorn Hedging

Your hawthorn hedge plants are delivered by mail order direct from our nursery, along with expert advice, friendly support, plus our Bareroot Replacement Guarantee and Free Returns, so you can give them a whirl with complete confidence.

Browse our range of hedging plants, many of which can be interplanted with Hawthorn for more variety: have a look at our mixed hedge packs for inspiration. 


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Hawthorn is the common name for members of the Crataegus genus in the Rosaceae plant family: relatives of roses, and most European fruit trees.

In the wild, they are small to medium-sized trees, and with clipping they make perfect hedge plants.

Why are Bareroot Plants so Good? 

The majority of hedging plants and trees in the UK are planted bareroot, but for many new gardeners, the idea of buying a plant with no soil around its roots feels wrong: how can they survive transit without a pot?

The secret is that they are sleeping (dormant) in winter, and during their brief time out of the field we store them in chilled, humid conditions that keep them nice and moist.
Then we wrap them up well and send them to you by next day delivery.

We only sell Hawthorn hedging as bareroot plants.

Are hawthorn berries edible?

Hawthorn's red fruit, called haws, are not strictly berries. They are similar to rose-hips: the flesh is dry, mealy, and quite nutritious, but should be separated from the seeds before consumption.
This is such a laborious process that almost no one bothers to use them as food any more, unless they are making herbal remedies. 
The best time to pick the haws is after the first frosts, which softens them and makes it much easier to squeeze the flesh off the seeds.

In our opinion: leave them for the birds, and some proper fruit instead!

You might also try eating the fresh green shoots, lightly steamed or boiled, which used to be a common green vegetable for rural folk. 

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