Q: What can you tell me about a tree that produces small, red or yellow fruit like an apple but it is called a “Haw” tree?
A: This tree is often called several other common names such as “May Haw”, “May Hawthorne”, or “Apple Haw” but its scientific name is Crataegus aestivalis. The May Hawthorne is part of the rose family therefore it will have thorns on the branches, so be careful when gathering fruit. This slow-growing native North American tree reaches a height of 30 feet that spreads to 35 feet or more. The dark green, deciduous leaves are often three-lobed and have red/brown undersides. The leaves display no appreciable fall color. The white, showy springtime flowers appear before the new leaves unfurl and are followed by the production of one-inch red fruits. Although the sweet tasting fruit can be eaten, it does not attract wildlife. May Hawthorne can grow in full sun to partial shade, a variety of soil conditions, and has very few disease or pest problems.