Crataegus douglasii - black hawthorn


Black hawthorn is among the best of the hawthorns hardy in Finland in two ways: it grows highest, to about 10 metres, and competes for first place for autumn colour. At Mustila, the old specimens at the edge of Tammimetsä (Oak Forest) add a glorious blaze of wine-red to the landscape for weeks on end in the autumn, visible from the main highway. In spring the trees are covered for a brief moment in white flowers. And in winter the crown is a mass of twigs and branches in every direction.

In those parts of western North America where the black hawthorn grows wild among giant conifers, the species is an attractively shaped broad-crowned small tree or large shrub, which tends to have a single trunk. Although it has been used for hedging it is not at its best in this role. In old age it becomes almost sculptural in its twisted habit. It is hardy in both south and central Finland.


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