Eastern Mayhaw

This was the only description given by seller, looking online this seems to suggest that it is the Crataegus aestivalis.

What I know about the plant:

1- nothing other than the trees found avail from the seller were poor looking trees, possibly too much shade and too much water.

What I know about Mayhaws in general:

Regardless of what I read online the Mayhaws that I have placed on my property are fairly fast growing, an absolutely beautiful tree with a seemingly God given architecture of limb structure.
They grow well in seemingly arid conditions.

Does anyone here grow the Eastern Mayhaw? I was told it was a Florida Native which is what I am turning my attention too.


IIRC, there are several Crataegus species that fall into the ‘mayhaw’ category… C.aestivalis and C.opaca probably two of the more common ones. Not restricted just to FL… they’re well-known across southern, swampy areas of AL, MS, LA, (TX?) as well.

I’ve had a half-dozen named mayhaw selections grafted and growing here for 20 years… Texas Star, Big Red, Royalty, Duck Lake, Turkey Haw, O’Barr Collossal, etc., but I’ve lost the IDs on all but one of those. Mine were grafted onto native cockspur hawthorn(C. crus-galli) understock… they bloom and set fruit almost every year here, 70 miles or so NW of Nashville TN. But… many years, cedar(juniper)-hawthorn rust takes most of the fruits… but occasionally, I get enough from those trees to make a small batch of mayhaw jelly.


I love the southeast native mayhaw… I grew up in louisiana eating them… We would go thrash the trees with a 10’ stick of 1/2" pvc with a tarp on the ground.
Make mayhaw jelly… But i loved them fresh, nice sweet tart flavor… I never saw any disease in those mayhaw creekbottoms… A friend in south mississippi has a whole grove of them on top a red clay hill… So they are adaptable… I brought one up here to KS and it took -12F without damage…
I hope to raise them here…
@Lucky_P what do you think is causing the rust in your environment? Perhaps cedar trees?

I have to wonder why they are so hard to find, literally almost no one sells a Mayhaw tree let alone has heard of them.

Maybe I should buy a few more from the guy going by your description

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Paul, yes it’s a cedar-hawthorn rust… also infects serviceberries, but they usually fruit early enough here to mostly escape major fruit damage. I see ‘ornamental’ hawthorns in town with every fruit reduced to a mass of fungal fruiting bodies… and sometimes the cockspur hawthorns at the edge of the pasture here at the farm get hit, as well.

Just Fruits & Exotics Nursery, at Crawfordville FL is the only place I can think of, on the spur of the moment, that offers mayhaws. I’m thinking that may be where the friend who supplied me with most of my scionwood got hers. @Ortegojeffrey may have a line on other sources


Ok thats good to know! I am growing serviceberry too so i may thin back any cedar near both.
On sources, I have ordered for next spring delivery, a Big Red and Heavy from Hidden Spring Nursery in TN. I think one green world also has them.

Hey Lucky! Hope all has been well. As far as sources for grafted mayhaw trees… online I’ve seen the ones y’all have named Just Fruits, hidden springs etc.
The Louisiana Mayhaw Association Louisiana Mayhaw Association website keeps a current list of suppliers of different mayhaw products including scion wood and grafted trees. Not sure who of those sources are in the grafted tree mail-order business as most just sell locally but it’s worth asking them, I’m sure they would mail scion wood. I grow seed from my trees and graft onto those roots. My mayhaw orchard is always growing with multiple copies of around 22 or so different selections or grafted cultivars from friends in the mayhaw association and other growers and nurserymen. Mr. Billy Craft and Mr. Johnny Smith have bred some fantastic later blooming and lower shattering cultivars that have enhanced commercial production potential and higher chill production tremendously and their efforts should be noted with those of the late Sherwood Akin.
Besides Lucky and a few growers in Florida and Georgia, all the sources are local to me in Louisiana and neighboring SE Texas so that’s how I got all my trees. I’d be happy to send whatever scion if that is a route one would like to take. I think rootstock can be ordered from a couple different state forestry online seedling sales. I think a commercial rootstock producer was Arborgen (sp?). Like Lucky was saying, Crataegus species graft readily onto one another and most areas will have at least one or more species growing wild locally to be used as rootstock.
Cedar rust seems to be worse certain years. I’ve heard the spores can travel more than a mile with the right conditions so removal of all cedars may not be practical for every grower. There are spray regimens recommended in BPM’s that can also be found on the Louisiana Mayhaw Association website and through the Louisiana State University AGcenter along with cultural recommendation, variety descriptions, disease/pest management etc.


Some of the newer bred cultivars may give you a better chance at a good crop in Kansas. Some of the newer ones like Red Champ, Maxine (wild selection), Cajun, and Surprise flower later and may escape later freezing temps. If you would ever like some scion would I’d be glad to send whatever you’d like.

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Ahh the reasons why they aren’t readily found are complicated. With the Louisiana Mayhaw Association many of those issues are being worked on but there are no great quick answers. Thornlessness, mechanical production, bloom time, disease resistance, marketing, production regulations, alternative products, authenticity all contribute to the economic and cultural reasons why we don’t see more mayhaw products. Mainly, it’s a lot of work to get all the way from seedling to a jar of jelly, probably more work than most people are willing to provide. And as an ornamental tree, it is thorny and is susceptible to fireblight although there are now new thornless cultivars.
There is a young man in Florida who contracted with a tissue culture producer and they made 10,000 mayhaw trees of the Red Champ and Double G cultivars. He planted like 2500, the association members were able to order some and he sold the rest. It was a trial run if I understood correctly but may happen again.

My ‘mayhaw mentor’, the late Travis Callahan, had suggested I try to get my hands on some Maxine scionwood, but I never pursued it.

Travis was a very good friend of mine. We only lived 12 miles apart and we visited very frequently. I spent countless hours with Travis and his wife Diana talking fruit, genealogy and any other topic under the sun. It was a very hard loss when he passed away and I doubt I’ll ever meet another man like Travis ever again. He was a longtime NAFEX member, a great man and a great friend.