The hawthorn tree is a wonderful addition to the property because it has something to offer almost all year along. In the spring, it bears lovely flowers that mature into fruit in the late summers, and the chill of autumn produces dazzling changes in foliage color. Follow the steps outlined here to properly plant and care for a Hawthorn tree.
Step 1: How to Buy a Hawthorn Tree
Before you purchase a Hawthorn tree, try to get a look at the roots. Purchase trees with a solid root ball, but not root bound to the container. When a plant becomes root bound, it could take years for the roots escape the tangle of their own growth, and that makes it difficult for the tree to get the proper nutrition from the soil. Purchase a tree with roots that are thick, preferably extending out of the holes in the container as this indicates current growth.
Step 2: When to Plant
The Hawthorn tree will do better if it is planted in early spring. Wait until the last hard freeze to avoid possible harm to the tree while it is acclimating and in a weakened condition. The soil will have to be completely thawed before you can condition it properly, and it is always best to wait until after the last freeze before transplanting any trees or shrubs, including Hawthorn trees.
Step 3: Condition the Soil
Hawthorn trees prefer a loamy, sandy soil combination. To achieve this, mix 1 part sand and 2 parts compost, along with a cup of cotton seed meal. Use a potato rake to mix it into the soil where the tree will be planting, to a depth of about 12 inches. This mixture will benefit the tree, and cotton seed meal will continue to fortify the soil for months.
Step 4: Saturate Soil Before Planting
Dig a hole that is twice the size of the root ball on the tree. Fill this hole with water, and allow it be absorbed into the surrounding soil. Place the tree ball into the ground and position it so the the most appealing side faces the area where it will receive the most traffic. Fill in around the root ball to hold the tree firmly in place. Tamp the soil down lightly, but take care not to damage the tree roots. Water the soil thoroughly twice a day for the first 3 days.
Step 5: Mulching and Compost
Sprinkle a layer of sifted compost in a 4 to 6 foot circle around three, and then cover it with mulch. Use a fir or cypress much, and keep it as much as 2 inches thick. This helps the soil retain moisture, and allows the compost to be absorbed naturally into the soil. Repeat this process twice a year.