Most folks prefer the single stemmed Hawthorn to the ones with multiple trunks, although multiple trunks make a faster screen if it is sound and sight you are trying to block out. Left alone the single stemmed trees will develop lower branches reaching down to the ground. This is very attractive for a specimen but it does make the thorns more accessible to passing children. If those lower branches are pruned away, the tree can be a satisfactory street tree with the thorns too high to disturb or hurt anyone.
Many Hawthorn types, especially Cockspur Hawthorn, are used in clipped hedges and, less formally controlled hedgerows where their density and thorns help keep out animal pests.
Hawthorn blossoms can be forced to bloom inside in the early spring, and the bare branches filled with red or orange berries in the late fall or early winter are often cut to be used in flower arrangements.
Value To Songbirds
The Hawthorn is a very attractive and popular ornamental tree that is one of the best not only for landscape value but it is dynamite for attracting song birds. The thorny, thick growth provides excellent cover and nesting. This tree is preferred nesting territory for robins and cardinals. The thorn apples are eaten by birds all winter. Over 35 species eat the fruit, including mockingbirds, robins, fox sparrows, and purple finches. Chickadees like the insects that dwell it on its trunk and branches and they don t care about thorns.
Value To Butterflies
Hawthorns serve as overwintering sites for the larvae of Admiral Butterfliesand it is a winter shelter of a parasite of the diamond backed moth. Not only is this tree beautiful, it is very valuable in keeping your yard s ecosystem healthy.