Hawthorne Trees

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Forum topic by stefang posted 06-02-2014 11:29 AM 1833 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16133 posts in 3535 days

06-02-2014 11:29 AM

A few years ago we planted a Hawthorne tree. Prior to that I had only read about them, usually in novels set in the 19th century. Mention of them was usually couched in nostalgic phrases and they seemed to be much loved, and usually growing in a favored outdoor place around the homes. I can’t remember hearing any mention of them in modern times, and I wondered if they are still popular in some parts of the US and Canada. It would be nice to hear from anyone who might have one of these trees or know something about them.

Here is a photo of our still young tree which we planted about 5 years ago. The photo isn’t too good with the busy background, but it has a wonderful shape, almost reminiscent of some bonsai trees. It has loads of tomato red flowers which bloom in late May and June here in Norway and which get bigger as the tree grows.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

14 replies so far

View hunter71's profile


3303 posts in 3388 days

#1 posted 06-02-2014 11:36 AM

Cool, I am heading to Moscow to work soon, looking forward to the birch and Diamond Willow sticks. Nice to get different woods from around the world.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

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Jim Jakosh

21736 posts in 3307 days

#2 posted 06-02-2014 12:02 PM

It looks like it grows like a clump birch!
Have you used Hawthorne wood in any projects?

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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16133 posts in 3535 days

#3 posted 06-02-2014 12:56 PM

No Jim, I haven’t. The only other ones I know about are three of them in my neighborhood which are mature trees and look to be about 40-50ft. high. with a diameter of maybe 15 inches or so just judging by eye from a distance. They are very beautiful when they are in full bloom which they are right now. I’ll take a photo of them next time I drive by.

I wanted to cut off those lower branches to get one trunk, but my wife wouldn’t let me, and she is the garden boss, so she got her way. I am very pleased with the shape though. It ls at the opposite end of the garden from our terrace and it looks great from there.

I could find out more about Hawthorne trees by just Googling them, but it is more fun finding out where they stand in practical terms and also if any woodworkers have been using them for turning or whatever.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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16133 posts in 3535 days

#4 posted 06-02-2014 12:57 PM

Sorry, double post.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3505 days

#5 posted 06-02-2014 01:32 PM

i imagine there a beautiful tree, but in regard to its growth, it seems if you continue to let the side trunks take nourishment from the main trunk it won’t grow as its suppose to, but you might defer to a professional arborist to find out what you should do that is best for it…sure would like to see it get the right care if its to be a tree, rather than a bush mike…just my 2 cents…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3058 days

#6 posted 06-02-2014 01:32 PM

Mike I had a lot of cuttings last year.
It cracked the full length but in an unusual way.
Lots of very fine ones every few mm around them.
Much the pity but have kept it for bowties, long grain.
I’ll see if I can get a picture.


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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16133 posts in 3535 days

#7 posted 06-02-2014 01:49 PM

Bob Thanks , that is good advice, but my wife said she wants it to stay more bush-like since we have so many tall trees right behind it.

Jamie What kind of characteristics does it have for working?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View johnhutchinson's profile


1243 posts in 1831 days

#8 posted 06-03-2014 12:37 AM

If that’s a “not so good” photo, I can’t wait for a good one. Beautiful !!!

Why does every tree have to graded based on its potential for more lumber? I could never eat my chickens. :(

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3172 days

#9 posted 06-03-2014 01:14 AM

Is the Hawthorn tree the same thing as a Hawthorn bush (or shrub)?
We had a Hawthorn bush growing under the kitchen window when I was a kid (1950s)
Was very pretty when it bloomed.
The thorns would eat your ass off if you ran through it.
And it had knotty little green apples on it after the blooms fell off.
I tried to eat a few of them because my mother warned me not to.
My pet snake liked to coil around the branches.

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16133 posts in 3535 days

#10 posted 06-03-2014 07:23 AM

John Being woodworkers we can’t help thinking about trees for lumber. In this case just curiosity.

Crank The Hawthorne trees have no thorns and no apples, just red berries, lots of them in a good year, so not related. The leaves of the tree somewhat resemble ferns, but a lot smaller. Coincidentally we have one of those bushes you describe near our Hawthorne tree. It does have thorns and apples as you described. We have tried to kill it a couple of times and I have even tried digging it up, but it keeps growing back sp we are just leaving it to live in piece. It doesn’t get apples every year. Here is a photo of the bush in bloom and then with the apples. Maybe you will recognize it. The apples are called Quinces. I have eaten some when I was a kid and they are really sour/bitter, but you can make good jam with them. They are popularly call Japonica or Geisha Girl. The ones I had grew in California. I hope this brings back some good memories for you.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2894 days

#11 posted 06-03-2014 10:34 AM

In the National Audubon Society Field Guide To Trees Eastern Region North America it shows 30 different species of hawthorn, they are a member of the rose family. Around here they are a nuisance, a weed to eradicate because of their spines or thorns but for the most part they are an ornimental tree or shrub with few uses except that they look nice. The shrub version was often planted as a hedge sometimes to keep cattle from roaming. Some species grow up to 40’ tall some have edable fruit, often made into jam, most have thorns of varing length which I found a referance that some of the longest were used as pins. As a Boy Scout I was able to make a very useable fish hook out of them. I found no referance to the actual use of the wood but I would suppose it could be used as any other wood. I know from expierance it has a long strong grain which might make it a hardwood. There were no marketable uses listed for it but I would think if one was inclined one could mill one of the larger trees into lumber useful of furniture or small project depending what the grain pattern looked like.
Interesting topic.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

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16133 posts in 3535 days

#12 posted 06-03-2014 12:24 PM

Thanks Mike. Very enlightening. Our Hawthorne trees here don’t have thorns, but it stands to reason that some in the family do since thorn is a part of their name.

Big correction
I said in the original post above that the tree got red berries. Totally wrong, I somehow got to thinking of the Rowan berry tree we have near the Hawthorne and got off track. Sorry. Early senility I guess. We just get the red flowers on it.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Druid's profile


1910 posts in 2997 days

#13 posted 06-04-2014 06:18 AM

Interesting post Mike, so I’ll put in a slightly different viewpoint on Hawthorn . . . from older Celtic traditional teachings.
Here’s a link to some information about the Hawthorn Tree being one of the Sacred Trinity of Trees in the Druidic tradition, dating back to the ancient Celts.

All of the Hawthorn in my area have fairly long thorns around 1 to 1½ inches (2.5 to 4 cm), and the wood is a very tight dense grain. Good for detailed carving, but not easy to get in larger diameter pieces. Even the “feel” of the Hawthorn is quite different as compared to other types of wood. When I have taught workshops on making a staff, I get the participants to select their wood (while focusing on the best match for themselves) before I tell them what types are available, and Hawthorne is about the most frequently selected. When I ask the participants why they selected it, the typical response is that “it feels better”.
As I said . . . a slightly different viewpoint.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

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16133 posts in 3535 days

#14 posted 06-04-2014 07:32 AM

John An amazing amount of spiritual belief attached to this tree. I have read that the Hawthorn is native to the British isles. Thanks for your contribution.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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