How Long Do Hawthorn Trees Live?

If you are thinking of adding a new tree to your property, a hawthorn tree is an excellent option to consider. This beloved tree is one of the first to bloom in spring, with an explosion of pale pink blossoms in full flower by May. You may be wondering how long this beautiful tree will last on your lawn. We have done the research, so you can learn all about how long hawthorn trees live. 

Lifespan varies with every hawthorn tree. It is realistic to expect a hawthorn tree to live for around 100 to 150 years, but these hardy trees may live for centuries with the right environment and proper care. 

You probably still have questions about how long hawthorns live. Keep reading to find out more about hawthorn trees, their life expectancy, and more. 

Lots of hawthorn berries on the branches of the Hawthorn tree, How Long Do Hawthorn Trees Live?

The Life Expectancy Of A Hawthorn Tree

The average life expectancy of the hawthorn tree species is 100 to 150 years. However, these rugged trees can live much longer than that. The common hawthorn tree is known to grow for 400+ years. The oldest known hawthorn lived to be 700. Keep in mind; this is not the case for most hawthorn trees. Living past 150 years is rare for a hawthorn but can happen with the right growing conditions and care.

Why Plant A Hawthorn Tree? 

Hawthorn trees are small, low-maintenance trees. They can reach a height of 20 feet or more or be trimmed to a more bush-like state if desired. Many people love to add a hawthorn to their yard because of the unique seasonal stages a hawthorn tree goes through.

Every May, these trees burst with white or pale pink blooms. At the peak of spring, hawthorn flowers are so thick that barely any leaves are visible. These flowers attract beneficial insects, pollinators, and more wildlife to the hawthorn branches. In autumn, the leaves turn burnt orange or deep red. They also produce berries during this time. Once the leaves are gone, these scarlet red berries stay on the branches into the winter season. A winter snowfall makes these red berries stand out against a pristine white landscape. If you want a tree with distinguished features all year, then planting a hawthorn is a great idea.

Hawthorn trees are also commonly used in landscaping to create living fences. When clustered together, these trees make an effective natural barrier. Some varieties even produce long sharp thorns along their horizontal branches. If you want to create a fence made out of living plants, hawthorn trees are a great addition. 

For more natural fence ideas, check out this blog post: 17 Best Privacy Bushes And Shrubs. 

What Are Hawthorn Trees Good For?

A tall Hawthorn tree blooming gorgeously on a sunny day

Hawthorn trees are not only nice to look at, but they also offer many ecological benefits too. Their springtime flowers attract beneficial pollinators. The nectar serves as a food source for them to live through the season and pollinate plenty of plants. 

Hawthorn branches also serve as valuable shelter for birds and mammals. Thorny hawthorn varieties help keep these critters protected from predators. In addition, their fall berries serve as another food source for animals later in the year when food is scarce. 

What Is Hawthorn Wood Used For?

Hawthorn tree wood is typically used for specialty wood items like carvings, engravings, and small handmade crafts. It is very hard wood, so it is not commonly used for larger wood projects. It has a very high burning point, so it makes excellent firewood too.  

Where Do Hawthorn Trees Grow? 

Before you plant one of these long-lasting trees on your property, make sure it will grow in your yard. Hawthorn trees are tolerant of many conditions, but they prefer sunny spots with well-draining soil and good air circulation.

Hawthorn trees are native to the temperate regions of Asia, North Africa, Europe, and North America. They thrive if planted in any of these regions. They will also survive in hardiness zones 3-9. 

How To Plant A Hawthorn Tree

Once you get your small hawthorn tree from a nursery, make sure to plant it soon. Dig a hole 2 to 3 times wider than the root ball and about as deep as the root ball. Add a layer of compost to the bottom of the hole and use a shovel to mix it with the soil. Then, put the tree in the hole with the root ball slightly higher than the groundline. Place a loose layer of soil around the top and gently pat it down. You can also add a layer of mulch to prevent weeds and help retain moisture. 

Next, water the tree thoroughly. Continue to water the tree regularly throughout the first growing season. If you live in an extremely windy area, it is recommended to stake the tree up. This helps the young branches grow straight and stay healthy in strong winds. 

Dalen Tree Stake Kit 

Here is a tree staking kit specifically designed for young trees. It protects your sapling from strong winds and ensures straight growth. 

Click here to view it on Amazon.

Make sure to plant your hawthorn tree in spring or fall to avoid extreme heat or cold. If planting in spring, wait two weeks after the last frost. If planting in fall, make sure to plant it before the first frost of the season. 

Caring For A Hawthorn Tree

Hawthorn trees are generally low-maintenance trees that can survive a wide range of conditions. Let's take a look at the best environment and ways to care for a hawthorn tree. 


Hawthorn trees like plenty of sun. They need full sun for optimal growth. However, they will survive in cloudy regions or places that don't receive constant sun during the day. 


Average, well-draining soil is what hawthorn trees prefer. They can withstand a wide soil pH range, and almost any type of soil as long as it is doesn't retain large amounts of water. 


After you plant a small hawthorn tree, make sure to water it well. You can add a thick layer of mulch around the base to prevent evaporation and retain moisture. During the first growing season, water the tree regularly and deeply.

After the first growing season, you don't need to routinely water your hawthorn tree. If its root system is established correctly, you may not need to water it at all. An established hawthorn tree doesn't need to be watered because its root system should find enough water to survive. 

If you want to know about other plants that need little water, check out this blog post: 37 Outdoor Plants That Need Little Water.


Healthy hawthorn trees do not regularly require pruning for optimal growth. If you want to prune your tree, make sure to do it sparingly. Over pruning can stimulate plant sucker growth or make your tree look barren. However, if you notice a dead or disease-ridden branch, you should remove it immediately. 

Common Pests & Diseases

Hawthorn trees are susceptible to many diseases and pests, so make sure to inspect your trees regularly. Some common diseases are fire blight, apple scab, powdery mildew, and leaf blight. A few pests you may find in your hawthorn tree are lace bugs, aphids, and mites. Make sure to keep an eye out for these ailments and treat them immediately if you see them.  

Safer Neem Oil

Here is a natural pest spray approved for organic gardening. You may want to use it on your hawthorn tree to prevent or get rid of those pesky aphids or other bugs. 

Click here to view it on Amazon. 

Add A Hawthorn Tree To Your Garden!

Hawthorn trees make excellent additions to any yard. They are easy to take care of and serve as a beneficial environment for many different animals. Their unique seasonal features are sure to keep you happy all year. In addition, they live for centuries, so your tree will continue to spread happiness after you are gone. Get planting now! 

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