Problem Growing Chinese Hawthorn

We bought the Chinese Hawthorn (Crataegus pinnatifida) from Cliff England. It was grafted. In spring time, the tree grew nice. But very quickly green leaves developed rust. Then the entire foliage weakened and turned to yellow. After two seasons, the tree did not make it. I still get the weak rootstock. Several of us bought the same at the same time. I’ve heard other people had the same rust problem.

I’d like to grow it again. But just wonder if anyone else has similar experience and the rust is common. Not sure if our spring climate is too wet. Or we need to spray it.

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I’m planting two cultivars of Crataegus pinnatifida this spring. I’ll spray it with copper based on your experience with rust.

Maybe you had something like CAR or related. Do you have Junipers closeby?

Here’s one of the Crataegus pinnatifida after one season in ground.

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Well if you’re not in California but in north east states. You will have CAR, PC and OFM to deal with from April to October. I have 2 mature red sun, and only got 2 fruits with no bugs inside last year.

Good to know. I definitely have PC and OFM.

Extra protein. :slight_smile:

@RedSun I got my 2 red sun haws from raintree in 2017. Initially the trees were disfigured by CAR but I figured out the problem promptly and started to spay with immunox and saved the trees. The trees started to fruit in 2020 and I got about 40 not that sweet but good looking Chinese haws and made a good jelly (I remember I complained about how tedious it was to get the seeds out in one of the hawthorn threads). In 2021 I got nothing. Even though I diligently spayed for CAR in the growing season, but I didn’t know that fruits could get badly damaged by the rust, too.

In 2022, I sprayed for CAR till June, but I noticed that most of the fruits dropped around June. PCs finally figured it out. I had around 40 haws left on 2 trees in October, but most haws were infested with the OFM worms and filled with worm poop. The Chinese haws are so tiny, so after cutting off the worm parts and 4 pea size seeds, you got nothing left.

You basically need about 4 immunox and 10-15 insecticide sprays in northeast states to have a decent crop. That’s obviously too much work.

That’s my 6 years story of growing Chinese haws and the trees will likely be cut down soon. Please be warned.

Sounds awful. Thanks for the cautionary tale. Since I already have the trees for a year, I’ll have to tread on. So far no CAR (knock on tree), but both my trees have some sort of woody knot or gall like growth. Are you in mid-Atlantic?

You might prefer just cooking the fruit down whole and then running the pulp through a sieve or food mill to separate the seeds.


Yeah, I am in mid Atlantic region, not far away from @RedSun. I don’t have cedars on my property but am pretty sure they are common in the area.

@Shuimitao, I see. Although I’m in the mountains, my climate isn’t that different in temp/humidity than where you are, so I’ll expect the same problems. My winter is not as cold but doesn’t sound like it matters here. That’s too bad because I thought this tree was native to China which is also humid like eastern US with a lot of insect and disease pressure. One would think these trees would be more hardy like a crabapple.

I did buy both Crataegus pinnatifida cultivars: “Red Sun” and “Big Golden Star”. So we shall see if the cultivar makes any difference.