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20/11/2013 at 22:18

Could anyone tell me when is the best time to take and plant hawthorn cuttings. i need a hedge and would rather grow my own than buy one.

20/11/2013 at 23:09

From my experience, hawthorn cuttings don't take very well - I had less than 1 in 5 root.  It is normally propagated from seed and now is the ideal time to collect the haws and sow them - they need the cold period in the soil to help them germinate.

I think the best chance of rooting cuttings would be to take 6 or 7 times as many as you need in Autumn from strong new semi-ripe (part woody, part green stem) growth.

Young 'whips' are very cheap to buy and will give you a hedge in much less time - probably at least 2 years quicker than growing from seed or cuttings.

21/11/2013 at 07:38

Have a look here Hawthorn whips about 34p each.  

You'll need more than you think as you'll need a staggered double row to produce a decent hedge, (approx 6 plants per metre) but they're still not expensive, and they'll grow away quickly in the spring 

21/11/2013 at 13:26

I you have a look around some hawthorn, you might find a vole stash which has started growing. I found a lot of seedlings this way, and then potted them on for a year. Whips will be quicker than cuttings or seed.

 If you know where you want the hedge, you could just line out the seed there. It will germinate in the spring.

21/11/2013 at 13:36

We have a very good stretch of hawthorn hedge planted as a single row of whips 10 years ago.  We prepared the ground well and trimmed them back to 9" after planting in late November.   They grew 6' in their first year.   We pruned them back again to about 3' to thicken them up and now keep the whole hedge about 6' high.   It makes an excellent wind break for that part of the garden and provides food and shelter for birds and insects.

You'd get a similar effect form sowing seeds but it would take just a bit longer and you'd have to weigh up the cost of seed trays and pots and compost against the cost of the whips.

21/11/2013 at 16:54

I would not recommend Hawthorn for hedging, unless you need to keep animals or humans in or out. They have thorns and are a  dispose of the trimmings. Go for Beech or Hornbeam, Both keep their leaves over winter so much more bird friendly and NO THORNS!

21/11/2013 at 17:19

Oh  I would respectfully disagree Berghill - I've known many a fine hawthorn hedge in my time, close clipped or allowed to grow to their full glory and flower and fruit.  

Nothing better for birds and insects, and the thorns really aren't that bad - nothing like blackthorn, and I've been actively involved in a large amount of hedge cutting. 

 Whatever hedge you grow, you're going to have to dispose of the trimmings. 

21/11/2013 at 18:01

We have 100 feet plus of Hawthorn which is kept closely trimmed (usually these days by the Hedge man who does the whole road for the council.) And there are rarely any berries, few flowers to see and no birds use it in winter even where there is ivy. On the other hand our 30 foot Beech hedge is full at the moment of all sorts of bird using it for winter shelter.

21/11/2013 at 18:12

I don't cut my hawthorn that tightly and there's plenty of berries and nests. Plenty of nests in the privet as well and in those hawthorns that haven't been cut at all.

You need to decide on the effect you want to achieve. Shelter for you? shelter for birds and other wildlife? for looks only?

Neat and suitable for a formal garden or a bit straggly and countrified? How many cuts a year, how tall, how wide. etc

21/11/2013 at 20:21

Thanks all. I can buy bare rooted plants locally and probably will, but I'd like to have a go at growing my own. Am I too late to take cuttings this weekend? Do i need to plant them straight away? What about using hormone root powder? I'm keen to have a go.

I already have hawthorn and beech seed sown in trays of compost. Gave a full Sunday afternoon mashing haws and extracting the seed

Fingers crossed

21/11/2013 at 20:25

Have you got the hawthorn seeds out in the cold No expert as Bob suggested?


21/11/2013 at 20:27

Trays in a frame with only a net to keep off the crows covering them.

21/11/2013 at 20:33

Excellent. The mice need watching as well. They got in a frame I'd made and covered with netting one year. All the berry type seeds were stolen. OH has made me an aluminium sided frame now, they can't climb over that, nothing to get a grip on. I just have to make sure it's flat on the slabs so they can't get underneath



21/11/2013 at 20:50

Will do that Nut. What about the cuttings anuone?

21/11/2013 at 21:07

I don't have much confidence in the idea of hawthorn cuttings but I'm not much good at cuttings. 

You're not too late for hard wood cuttings, just right. I'd use rooting powder on some and a control without.. Do you receive the GW newsletter? It has a bit on hardwood cuttings this week

21/11/2013 at 21:09


Around here our gardens would become forests with all the tree seedlings if we didn't keep pulling them out. Do you know anyone with hawthorns that would let you look around for seedlings?

21/11/2013 at 21:26

Thanks Nut again. It's more the challange than getting bushes for nothing. Lots of work in the garden still to do but apart from the garlic not much planting.

Have scavanged trees from various locations before and grew Ash from seed.

Sowed 5 Sychamores about 18 years ago at the bottom of the garden from seedlings that grew in the then gravel yard. Sowed 6 conkers on my son's 6th birthday(1997) 3 have survived an produced a few conkers last year.

Similar here with Sychamore. they grow in the cracks in concrete yard, in the daffodil beds, under the hedges, in the guttering on the house and just about everywhere you can imagine. Ash also but not as much. There are a few hawthorn saplings up the lane but they would number less than 20 and are very stunted. Have Ash saplings 3 foot high to sow and no sign of Chalara TG.


21/11/2013 at 21:33

I love growing things from seed. I have field maples and scots pines and lots of oddments at least 20foot tall from seed in the 20 years or so that we've been here. 

21/11/2013 at 21:39

Few experiences in life are as thrilling as seeing the first shoots emerge from a new plant.

30/11/2013 at 21:27

Well finally planted the hawthorn cuttings today. Rooting powder proved to be a scarce commodity but located some yesterday from lad at work. Paid for it with a swede for his Sunday dinner and a promise of more.

Sowed more hawthorn seed in beds in veg garden.

Fingers crossed

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