February 15, 2019
By Marion Robertson.
This is the year we are readjusting our mindset, at the nursery, in regards to what we thought were valuable additions to the landscape. Many trees and shrubs that we believed to be of little or no value are now getting a second chance. Turns out it is all in the eye of the beholder. What is no worth to someone is someone else’s gold.
We had blindly listened to opinions stating trees such as poplar and hawthorn were garbage trees and not worth planting. But, you know, these opinions were based 40 years ago and our southern Ontario landscape and environment has changed greatly. Now when I take a second look at the hawthorn I see a tree ready made for disturbed soil locations, abandoned hay fields and hot, open lots. They tolerate no shade and are perfectly suited to our present day environment. As a pioneer, and restoration species, it is at the top of the list.
In North America, we have a vast variety of hawthorn. Unfortunately, since this is not a sought after species, most of the varieties are not found at nurseries. That spurred us on to conduct a survey to find local, wild hawthorns. So far, we have tentatively identified 5 varieties and will have to wait till the Fall to verify our findings. The fruit will definitively determine the varieties.